Old Firm unite over anti-bigotry plan
A task force to explore match scheduling and a police pledge to target internet bigots are among measures announced following a summit into Old Firm-related disorder.
The body will look at when Old Firm games are played and whether banning orders could be extended to fans who misbehave away from grounds.
The clubs issued a joint plan to tackle bad behaviour surrounding the fixture. And police will look at addressing “public order” issues on web forums.
The Strathclyde force requested the summit after describing scenes at last week’s Celtic versus Rangers game as “shameful”.
The game saw three red cards, several touch-line and tunnel confrontations and 34 arrests inside Celtic Park during a volatile Scottish Cup tie, which Celtic won 1-0.
Representatives from both clubs, the Scottish Football Association (SFA) and Strathclyde Police attended the meeting in Edinburgh on Tuesday.
Rangers and Celtic detailed a six-point plan agreed by both clubs:
> The creation of a stand-alone pan-Scotland police football intelligence unit as part of the ongoing review of police forces in Scotland
> Greater enforcement of existing legislation to deal with sectarianism and drink related offences
> The establishment of a task force comprising senior police officers, government representatives and club security personnel to deliver more consistency in policing of football matches across Scotland
> A detailed academic study into the extent of the linkage of football to violent crime committed domestically and in the community
> Celtic and Rangers will commit to playing an enhanced role in a partnership approach to encourage responsible drinking
> A re-enforced code of conduct for players and officials
Celtic’s chief executive Peter Lawwell said: “Football doesn’t work alone – in society here in Scotland we are blighted by multiple deprivation, alcohol abuse and violence.
“I think we do understand and accept that around an Old Firm game violence and domestic abuse does take a hike and we must address that.”
His counterpart at Rangers, Martin Bain, said: “There is undoubtedly major issues for Scottish society. With the best will in the world they can’t be blamed on a football club, or cured by a football club.
“But we will do everything we can to help and I think the six-point plan that we’ve devised today will be of assistance and illustrate a way forward.”
From BBC News