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SBD Global/January 12, 2017/International Football

Scottish Professional Football League Issues New Fan Misconduct Regulations

The Scottish Professional Football League has issued new regulations "aimed at tackling supporter misconduct," according to the BBC. All 42 of its member clubs are "expected to take strict disciplinary measures against fans who indulge in anti-social behaviour during matches." The updated guidance, which comes into force immediately, states that home clubs are responsible for "good order and security." Under the previous rules, clubs could "argue that they had taken all practical steps to deter misbehaviour inside their stadiums." Now they must be "seen to actively pursue cases and take 'appropriate' action against the perpetrators" (BBC, 1/10). In Edinburgh, Andy Newport reported the update comes "after a number of worrying cases involving disruption on the terraces in recent months." This season’s opening Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers was also "marred when two effigies were hung from a section of the home support, while the Rangers fans were responsible for a trashed toilet." Last year’s Scottish Cup final -- organized by the Scottish FA -- "ended amid shameful scenes when Hibernian and Rangers supporters clashed on the Hampden pitch" (SCOTSMAN, 1/11).

COLUMN: In Glasgow, Jamie Montgomery opined SPFL CEO Neil Doncaster, "only ever one sentence away from another blunder, has issued his latest cack-handed list of rules Scotland's clubs must follow." The clubs are now expected to take "strict disciplinary measures" against their own fans who misbehave. The updated guidance "follows the scenes" from the Scottish Cup final last May. The SFA "passing the buck is no big surprise." More "damning is their shameless attempt to slap down clubs who already do everything they can to prevent trouble and mete out suitable punishments when they can." The SFA "know this happens, but again were so embarrassed by their own inadequacies after the final that sticking it to their members seemed like the best face-saving solution" (DAILY RECORD, 1/11).
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