The Scottish Government has issued fresh warnings that bigots who flaunt the new anti-sectarian legislation will be named and shamed.
With sectarian singing prevalent throughout the recent Old Firm game, Roseanna Cunningham MSP warned that offenders would be unable to hide the nature of their crimes. The Community Safety minister made clear that the family and employers of those prosecuted would be informed of their sectarian charges.
However uncertainty has surrounded the government’s drive to rid Scottish football of religious bigotry from the beginning, with no definition of what classifies illegal behaviour being established.
Fans have reacted angrily to threats of unspecified guidelines being used to charge them. Dave Watson, a member of the Rangers Supporters Trust, said, “Surely no other crime could be punished in this way. The ones in charge of this, the ones that were at Ibrox have said they wouldn’t know any sectarian songs even if they heard them. Total joke.”
Celtic fans have also denounced the proposals, with Jim McNally adding, “Politicians should be focusing on more important things than a game of football.”
The trouble associated with Old Firm matches again hit the headlines following a 212% increase in domestic violence on Sunday.