A Rangers fan who described a former Celtic player as a "f*nian b******" did not breach anti-bigotry laws, a sheriff has found.
Show Racism the Red Card are disappointed the Sherriff did not recognise the seriousness of the term used. The accused clearly wished to abuse Mr Flood either because of his assumed religious beliefs or nationality.
The accused pled not guilty to a charge of engaging in behaviour of a kind which is likely to incite public disorder by shouting, singing and chanting foul and abusive language of religious hatred.
The Sheriff said: “I can't convict you under the Offensive Behaviour at Football legislation because I'm not convinced that that one remark would be likely to cause public disorder."
This kind of abuse, as well as being very upsetting to those on the receiving end, can very much trigger public disorder. If the Sheriff believes, as Show Racism the Red Card do, that this offensive language has no place at a football ground then he needs to use the legislation available to him to make it so.
The accused was found guilty of an alternative charge of breach of the peace by shouting language of religious hatred. The sheriff said: "The section of the legislation you were charged under is very confusing. It is very unhelpful and until some appeals go through we won't get much guidance.”
We all have a role to play in eradicating racism and sectarianism from football and society.
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