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Clubs unite to kick out bigotry

20 November 07 16:21 GMT

The First Minister Alex Salmond has pledged to help kick bigotry out of Scottish football forever.

Mr Salmond teamed up with the 12 Scottish Premier League clubs to launch the latest initiative aimed at tackling the issue.

As part of the Kick-Out Bigotry campaign supporters will hand out anti-sectarian beer mats in pubs and clubs.

There will also be increased sectarian incident monitoring at games.

A Scottish Government minister will attend each of this weekend's six SPL fixtures to officially kick-start a month of action aimed at ending bigotry.

Launching the scheme at Hampden, the first minister said: "I am passionate about football and about Scotland.

"Sectarianism has no place in a modern society and will only hold us back from becoming the tolerant and forward thinking Scotland in which citizens and visitors can thrive."

He pledged: "We're going to win this fight - we haven't won it yet but we are going to win. You can't be a real Scot if you're a bigot."

Scottish Football Association chief executive Gordon Smith, under-21s coach Maurice Malpas and former Scotland stars Billy McNeill and Richard Gough were also at the launch.

Mr Smith said: "The game's not been cleaned up yet and we want to change people's behaviour.

"It's time to end religious bigotry, sectarian attitudes and behaviour that tarnish our national sport and some sections of society."

Lex Gold, executive chairman of the SPL, said: "Bigotry is a cause of ignorance.

"Society as a whole must endeavour to erase bigotry in every walk of life."

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