Football ‘key factor’ in fuelling sectarianism

Scots pupils take part in anti-sectarian play called Divided City. Picture: TSPL
Scots pupils take part in anti-sectarian play called Divided City. Picture: TSPL
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FOOTBALL is overwhelmingly seen as the key factor in fuelling sectarianism in Scotland, new research today has found.

And almost 90 per cent of Scots say that sectarianism is still a problem in the country, according to a series of national studies into the issue which have been released by the Scottish government.

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Marches staged by the orange and Irish republican communities are often associated with community and social problems, as well as sectarianism.

The series of reports were commissioned by the Independent Advisory Group on tackling sectarianism in Scotland and aimed at tackling understanding of the issue.

Community safety minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “Sectarianism has no place in Scotland in the 21st century and we are fully committed to help rid Scotland of the prejudices of the past and tackling this problem which has blighted modern communities.

“Religiously aggravated offending is falling and is now at its lowest level in a decade but we will seek to do all we can to stamp out the problem.”

The studies found 88 per cent of people thought sectarianism was a problem and 67 per cent said it was restricted to particular areas. Football is viewed by 88 per cent of Scots as the most common factor in contributing to sectarianism.

The Advisory group is now due to publish a final report later in the year.

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Sectarianism a Scotland-wide issue, report warns