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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 August 2006, 19:26 GMT 20:26 UK
Celtic to meet police over Boruc
Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc
Boruc blessed himself at Ibrox
Celtic have asked for a meeting with police after goalkeeper Artur Boruc was cautioned for a breach of the peace during an Old Firm game at Ibrox.

Boruc was accused of making gestures during a game with Rangers in February.

The Crown Office said the procurator fiscal had issued the caution as an alternative to prosecution.

A spokesman explained that Boruc's actions "included a combination of behaviour before a crowd in the charged atmosphere of an Old Firm match".

The Polish goalkeeper's behaviour had "provoked alarm and crowd trouble".

Criticism, led by the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, which claimed that Boruc had been cautioned for the act of blessing himself, has been directed at the police response.
It's a worrying and alarming development, especially since the sign of the cross is globally accepted as a gesture of religious reverence
Peter Kearney
Catholic Church spokesman

But a fresh statement from the Crown Office stressed: "The decision to use an alternative to prosecution in this case was based on an assessment of behaviour, not one single act, which appeared to be directed towards the crowd, which was being incited by that behaviour and which caused the police to intervene and calm the crowd."

The incident took place at the start of the second half of the game on 12 February.

Police investigated the complaints and submitted a report to the procurator fiscal.

The Crown Office said Boruc's behaviour had taken place before a crowd in the charged atmosphere of a match between Celtic and rivals Rangers.

As such, it constituted a breach of the peace.

A Celtic spokesman said: "Celtic Football Club is currently assessing this issue.

"The club has arranged to meet with Strathclyde Police and our supporters' representatives to discuss the matter further."

Peter Kearney, spokesman for the Catholic Church, said the move to caution Boruc was "regrettable".

"It's a worrying and alarming development, especially since the sign of the cross is globally accepted as a gesture of religious reverence," he said.

"It's also very common in international football and was commonplace throughout the World Cup.

"It is extremely regrettable that Scotland seems to have made itself one of the few countries in the world where this simply religious gesture is considered an offence."

Church 'alarm' over cross caution
26 Aug 06 |  Scotland


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