SFA: Football has ‘responsibility to take action’ after ‘unacceptable conduct’ in Scottish game

The Scottish FA has issued a statement in response to the “spate of incidents this season involving unacceptable conduct”.

Ian Maxwell issued a statement following Steve Clarke's comments. Picture: SNS Group
Ian Maxwell issued a statement following Steve Clarke's comments. Picture: SNS Group

Kilmarnock boss Steve Clarke spoke at length about anti-Catholic abuse aimed at him during his side’s 5-0 William Hill Scottish Cup defeat to Rangers at Ibrox.

Clarke was subjected to chants branding him a “sad Fenian b*****d” and condemned the abuse in an explosive post-match press conference.

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He said: “It’s nice being back in the west of Scotland – really nice.

• READ MORE - ‘Calling me a Fenian b*****d? Come on’ - Steve Clarke blasts anti-Catholic abuse at Rangers v Kilmarnock clash
“When I was approached by Rangers about taking over the job here I was assured, ‘nah, we don’t have that in the west of Scotland anymore’. Hahaha.
“They can call me a b*****d or w****r but to call me a Fenian b*****d? Come on. We’re living in the dark ages. They’re not allowed to call my assistant [Alex Dyer] a black B but they can call me a Fenian b*****d. 

“Is that correct? What are we doing in Scotland?

“I wake up every morning and I thank Chelsea for taking me away from the west.”

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard said this morning: “I wasn’t aware of how Steve was feeling after the match when we met up for a beer.
“The club has issued a statement and we don’t support any kind of unacceptable behaviour from the terraces.”

Scottish football’s governing body referenced the several incidents involving players and officials being hit by coins, sectarian singing at matches and abusive and threateninig behaviour towards officials, players, and coaching staff.

The statement, from SFA chief Ian Maxwell, continued: “This behaviour is completely unacceptable and simply has no place in football, or indeed Scottish society.

“Football has a responsibility to take action. We must do all that we can under our current rules and engage with clubs to seek to eradicate such behaviour.”

Stating that the Association would seek further discussions “to maintain the momentum for change”, Maxwell added: “This issue, however, is not one that football can solve on its own. 
“To that end, SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster and I recently met with Cabinet Secretary for Justice Humza Yousaf, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing Joe Fitzpatrick and Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Bernie Higgins to discuss unacceptable conduct in football and how we can work together to address this.”