Scottish Football Association To Vote On Tough Sectarianism, Racism Rules
Tough new laws on dealing with racism, sectarianism and other forms of unacceptable behavior in football "will be voted on at Tuesday’s annual general meeting of the Scottish Football Association," according to Alan Pattullo of the SCOTSMAN. Last month’s FIFA Congress agreed strict punishments for tackling racist incidents and “other forms of discriminatory behaviour.” SFA CEO Stewart Regan said these measures are “the big ticket item” which FIFA is presently focusing on. Now, Regan wants Scottish sides to adopt “strict liability” in dealing with racism and sectarianism, so incidents "are the responsibility of the clubs, regardless of measures they have adopted to tackle the problem." Sanctions imposed on a club or representative team will, in principle, "be issued in a two-stage approach: for a first or minor offence, the sanctions of a warning, a fine, and/or the playing of a match behind closed doors should be applied." For re-offenders, or for serious incidents, sanctions such as a points deductions, "expulsion from a competition or relegation should be applied" (SCOTSMAN, 6/9).
THE LOWDOWN: In Glasgow, Michael Grant reported the SFA will hold its "annual general meeting on Tuesday and the 93 members will be asked to agree the creation of the Scottish Lowland Football League as part of wider efforts to introduce a pyramid structure for the national game." The Lowland League "would be the southern equivalent of the Highland League and the champions of each division would playoff at the end of each campaign, with the winners of that tie playing off against the team who had finished bottom of the Third Division in order to claim the 42nd place in the Scottish League." Any team that drops out of the Third Division "would play in either the Highland or Lowland league the following season," with the geographical boundary of the two divisions altered a little each year depending on the locality of the "relegated" club (HERALD SCOTLAND, 6/9).