New police unit to tackle bigots

 old firm match generic Anti-sectarianism moves were made after an ill-tempered Old Firm match A new national police unit dedicated to tackling sectarianism at football matches in Scotland is expected to be announced later.


The move will be discussed at a joint action group hosted by First Minister Alex Salmond at Hampden Park, Glasgow.


The group was set up following a summit into incidents of disorder at an Old Firm game in March.


Representatives from Celtic and Rangers and the Scottish Football Association (SFA) will attend Monday’s meeting.


Mr Salmond is expected to announce a National Football Policing Unit to help officers co-ordinate intelligence on potential troublemakers and flashpoints ahead of games, and contribute to post-match investigations.


The proposals were drawn up in the aftermath of the ill-tempered Scottish Cup replay at Celtic Park which saw scenes of unrest within the stadium.

‘Shame game’

The game, on 2 March, resulted in three red cards, several touch-line and tunnel confrontations and 34 arrests as Celtic ran out 1-0 winners.


Strathclyde Police branded scenes at the match “shameful” and requested the Scottish government hold a summit to tackle sectarianism and disorder at matches.


After the initial meeting on 8 March, an eight-point action plan was agreed by both clubs, ministers, footballing authorities and the police.


The joint action group was set up to implement this.


Following his landslide election victory, Mr Salmond said he wanted to introduce new legislation to tackle sectarianism before the start of the new football season.


This was later delayed by at least six months after concerns that the new law was being rushed through parliament.

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