Yousaf: Government will consider options to rid ‘vile cancer’ of sectarianism

The Scottish Government has the right to act in order to rid the “vile cancer” of sectarianism from Scottish football, Humza Yousaf has said.

Speaking at Holyrood on Tuesday, the Justice Secretary said that although the preference would be for clubs to take action themselves, the Government will consider a range of measures in order to tackle the issue.

There have been a number of incidents across Scotland this season, including sectarian chants, coins being thrown at players and match officials, pitch invasions and seats being ripped up at stadiums.

A number of options including strict liability have been suggested as measures to challenge disorderly behavior at football matches.

Mr Yousaf said: “Our preferred solution has always been that football steps up to address this long-standing problem with meaningful solutions.

“It is important for football to demonstrate leadership on this issue, but if action is not taken we reserve the right to act to rid this vile cancer from our national game.

“I believe the vast majority of supporters are also frustrated that a small minority are bringing our game into disrepute and are frustrated at the lack of action by the football authorities and clubs.

“While we would prefer football to take action, we are considering a range of options – including the role of strict liability and the licensing of football stadiums – and I would welcome contributions from across the chamber on how we can work together to address this issue.

“I also understand the independent review of football policing commissioned by Police Scotland will be published tomorrow, 6 March, and we will carefully consider its findings.”

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