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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 November 2006, 12:57 GMT
Football fans voice bigotry views
Celtic and Rangers supporters
Old Firm supporters offered different perspectives
A "short, sharp, shock" is needed to tackle sectarianism in the short-term in Scotland, according to football supporters across the country.

Consultation with fans of 17 clubs found many believe sectarianism is a problem of Scottish society rather than Scottish football.

The report from Professor Bert Moorhouse called on the Old Firm to join forces to tackle bigotry.

And it recommended footballers should be given anti-sectarian training.

The independent report was based on discussions "with some of the most experienced, most travelled and most dedicated football fans in Scotland".

'Unpleasant tradition'

Professor Moorhouse found sectarianism was seen as a major problem in Scottish football.

It was viewed predominantly as a located within fans of Celtic and Rangers, though Hearts and Airdrie United were mentioned.

The report stated: "A generally expressed view was that, while the rest of Scotland has 'moved on', the Glasgow region is still locked into an outmoded, strange and unpleasant 'tradition'."

Celtic supporters involved in the consultation agreed sectarianism was a major problem but see it as much more widespread than other supporters.

They said they are the recipients of sectarian sentiments.

Rangers supporters were the only group which felt sectarianism was not a major problem in Scottish football.

They argued the situation had been getting steadily better over the last few years and told researchers they believed it was nowhere near as bad as painted.

The report recommends:

  • Celtic and Rangers merge their current anti-sectarian initiatives
  • The executive and the Scottish Football Association fund a sustained publicity campaign against sectarianism
  • All footballers playing for major clubs receive anti-sectarian training.
  • The executive and Sportscotland provide a small fund for supporter led initiatives to counter sectarian sentiments
  • Modifications to half-time entertainment at Ibrox and Celtic Park to emphasize both are Scottish clubs
  • The executive, police, Celtic, Rangers and stewarding companies review policies for marshalling football fans
  • Celtic and Rangers review their current procedures for the allocation of tickets for their away matches and facilitate self-policing

The report also suggests the executive and SFA meet with editors and sports editors to discuss coverage of sectarianism.

Sports Minister Patricia Ferguson said: "The vast majority of fans attend matches for the love of football and a desire to support their team.

"However, there are those that continue to use football as a platform to articulate unacceptable expressions of sectarian hatred.

"I am pleased that fans from our football clubs have aired their views, which will inform the executive's drive to combat sectarianism in football."




SEE ALSO
Minister shares anti-bigotry plan
05 Oct 06 |  Scotland
Rangers captain's chants warning
22 Sep 06 |  Glasgow and West
Second summit to tackle bigotry
17 Jul 06 |  Glasgow and West

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