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Final whistle blows on Football Behaviour Act

20 April 2018

The Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications etc (Scotland) Act 2012 has been repealed as from today (20 April).

The bill to repeal the Scottish Government’s controversial anti-sectarianism measure, passed by the combined opposition MSPs in Holyrood last month, received Royal Assent yesterday and on its terms came into force from midnight.

Football supporters believed they were being unfairly targeted by the 2012 Act, which was also criticised for the width of its drafting.

Scottish Labour MSP James Kelly, who promoted the repeal bill, claimed: “While the Football Act's repeal should be celebrated, the Scottish Government should take this as a wake-up call.

“It should now look again at its strategy to tackle sectarianism and start investing in communities and education.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government is playing its part in tackling all forms of abusive and offensive behaviour whenever and wherever it occurs.”

She added: “Lord Bracadale's upcoming independent review of hate crime, commissioned by ministers last year, will also help to ensure Scotland has robust legislation in place to tackle all forms of hate crime.”

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