Thursday 24th March saw the Show Bigotry the Red Card concluding anti-sectarian event with football supporters of all allegiances at the home of Scottish Football, Hampden Park.
The event was the culmination of previous gatherings that have taken place at various sporting venues around the country since October 2010.
Sectarianism and religious intolerance affecting the Scottish game and society at large has, during the past few weeks, unfortunately been once again on the front pages. It was really apt therefore that the final event was the best attended to date with many representatives of the Old Firm support, as well as a variety of other Scottish clubs amongst the various divisions such as Falkirk FC and Stirling Albion FC. Our guests were treated to a guest appearance from top Scottish comedian Des Clarke who provided a good injection of humour at the start of the evening. We were delighted to have a very special panel on the night that engaged with the numerous audience in a meaningful and energetic debate. We were joined by Tony Higgins, a member of FIFPro executive board, who very kindly chaired the event, Fraser Wishart, Chief Executive of the Players’ Union, Chief Superintendent Bob Hamilton from Strathclyde Police, as well as our Red Card coaches Derek Ferguson, Gary MacKay and Michael Weir.
FIFPro Board member Tony Higgins who chaired the event remarked " I was very impressed by the evening and the debate that took place, many issues are still to be resolved but I think it is important that fans' who hold different views come together and move forward together on the basis of some understanding of the range of views out there. I do a lot of work in Eastern Europe and it is very difficult there to get fans' to understand that problems actually exist and remedies have to be discussed"
Elio Ajmone, Project Manager for Show Bigotry the Red Card, said: “This initiative has been a fantastic experience for everyone involved and has really helped the new campaign to grow in stature. Each event has given us the unique opportunity to provide a platform for dialogue with our audiences and to be informed on how to take our initiatives forward. Thursday night was the culmination of this unique type of event, one that has offered us the opportunity to truly engage with the public on an issue that, unfortunately, is still very divisive and contentious. I would like to thank you all the participants that have come along and contributed to many interesting discussions and, last but not least, all the Red Card coaches for showing a great enthusiasm and willingness to take this campaign forward”.