Rival football fans unite to slam sectarianism law

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THE Scottish Government’s proposed new law to crack down on sectarianism at football matches is a “sledgehammer to crack a nut”, MSPs have been told.

Derek Watson, chair of Heart of Midlothian Supporters Trust, told the Scottish Parliament’s justice committee he had been going to Tynecastle for 40 years.

He said: “The behaviour of Hearts fans and visiting fans has improved dramatically over the last 20 years. Last year there were something like 14 arrests, all for minor offences. I remember when there were 10 times that number at one game.”

Dr Neil Havis, secretary of ERIN Hibernian Supporters Trust, also giving evidence on the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Bill, said the atmosphere at Hearts-Hibs matches was “completely different” from Old Firm games. “There is no tension,” he said.