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SCOTLAND **15 Jan 2012 Football fans banned from offensive singing at matches

A two-part law is expected to clear the Scottish parliament by mid January that will ban the singing of offensive or sect

January 15, 2012 - NULL

SCOTLAND **15 Jan 2012 Football fans banned from offensive singing at matches

A two-part law is expected to clear the Scottish parliament by mid January that will ban the singing of offensive or sectarian songs at football matches. If convicted, fans could spend up to five years in prison and be banned for life from football grounds. It has led to suggestions that fans could face prosecution for singing the national anthem or crossing themselves. Mayhem has become embedded in the football scene, and at least one country is punishing a team for violence perpetrated by its fans.

The

SCOTLAND **15 Jan 2012 Football fans banned from offensive singing at matches

A two-part law is expected to clear the Scottish parliament by mid January that will ban the singing of offensive or sectarian songs at football matches. If convicted, fans could spend up to five years in prison and be banned for life from football grounds. It has led to suggestions that fans could face prosecution for singing the national anthem or crossing themselves. Mayhem has become embedded in the football scene, and at least one country is punishing a team for violence perpetrated by its fans.

The Scottish legislation was introduced in the aftermath of a game between the Rangers and Celtic football clubs, when two officials from the rival clubs squared off after the match. Several parcel bombs were sent to prominent Celtic supporters after the match.

The first offense targets sectarian and threatening behavior deemed likely to cause public disorder at and around football matches. The second relates to threats or serious harm which are intended to stir up religious hatred on the Internet or other communications. Opposition parties criticize the measure as an invasion of free speech, and because of confusion about what behavior could lead to prosecution.

In Germany, Dynamo Dresden will be forbidden entry into a next season competition due to crowd violence that marred its defeat at Borussia Dortmund on Oct 25. According to the Irish Examiner, the German Football Association upheld the sanction after the club's appeal in the hope that the move will send out a signal to clubs that misbehaving fans will not be tolerated. (WRITTEN Nov 2011)

**Estimated date

RELATED READING:

Crackdown on sectarian chants to be law by spring (Scotsman 25 Nov 2011)
http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/crackdown_on_
sectarian_chants_to_be_law_by_spring_1_1979421

Rise in junior and senior parks football violence (BBC 22 Nov 2011)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-15651794

Dresden barred from German cup over fan violence (Irish Examiner 25 Nov 2011)
http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/sport/dresden-barred-from-german-cup-over-fan-violence-529753.html

Date written/update: 2012-01-15