Letter: Scrapping bad behaviour act is bad for the game

ONE reader has their say on the move by MSPs to push forward with plans to scrap the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 29th January 2018, 1:34 pm
Updated Monday, 29th January 2018, 1:40 pm
GAME CHANGER: MSPs have voted in favour of scrapping the act
GAME CHANGER: MSPs have voted in favour of scrapping the act

The Offensive Behaviour at Football Act may have been flawed but it was supported by the majority of the public and most football fans who are fed up with the regular sectarian bigotry, particularly in relation to the history of Ireland.

Rather than paying lip service on tackling sectarianism, had our domestic football authorities taken the same approach as UEFA, the main culprits would been fined followed by points deductions for repeated offences and there would be no need for OBFA.

If football wants to expand its supporter base and encourage more families, the governing bodies must now take action to enforce zero tolerance to the offensive songs and chants rather than turning a blind eye.

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MSPs recently voted 65-61 in favour of Labour MSP James Kelly’s legislation to scrap the Act in its first vote at the Scottish Parliament but will have to go through another stage of voting before it is repealed for good.

Those who celebrate the repeal of OBFA should be careful what they wish for as football clubs could in future face criminal strict liability over their fans’ behaviour.

Fraser Grant, Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh