Alex Salmond blasts ‘shameful’ repeal of Offensive Behaviour at Football Act

MSPs voted to scrap the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act
MSPs voted to scrap the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act

Alex Salmond has slammed political opponents who voted to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act

The controversial act, which was piloted by Salmond in 2011 was scrapped at Holyrood in January through a Member’s Bill.

However Salmond blasted those that voted to repeal accusing them of political point-scoring over principles.

MSPs voted 65-61 to repeal the Act in January in a move that Salmond dubbed ‘shameful’.

READ MORE: Euan McColm: Offensive Behaviour at Football Act was no way to tackle bigots

He said: “It is totally shameful. It is perfectly legitimate to say such legislation could be improved, or changed in certain aspects – that is what happens as legislation beds down.

“To know what’s going on all you have to do is listen to what is being sung during certain televised matches, so why on earth in Scotland in 2018 should we accept sectarian singing in our living rooms, and anybody who does anything which sustains that and allows it to continue should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.”

He accused the opposition at Holyrood from ‘running away’ from the problem of sectarianism in Scotland, and directing much of the blame at Labour saying: “Labour is greatly to blame, and I don’t expect anything from the Tories who have little regard for eliminating sectarianism in Scotland as we have seen from the antics of some of their councillors and candidates.”

“But you would hope that progressive parties would want to eliminate sectarianism and its manifestations as surely as they should want to eliminate sexism and racism – it is in the same category of evil things, and the only way to defeat it is to confront it, so to run away from that battle is a dreadful thing.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond calls for independence debate as he brands Theresa May ‘incompetent’

“To do it for political purposes is pathetic and the irony is that they won’t get any thanks for it because the overwhelming majority of people in Scotland want to have done with this.

“It is putting a stain on Scotland’s reputation as a country in order to give a bloody nose to the SNP – what could be more pathetic than that?”

The repeal Bill moved on to further consideration at committee level following the vote in January, before a final vote of all MSPs takes place.