Midlothian Provost’s delight at football laws

Midlothian Provost Adam Montgomery is celebrating a famous victory over the Scottish Football Association (SFA).

The Labour councillor stirred up a hornets’ nest in July by calling for a ban on anti-English chanting at Scottish internationals.

Anticipating that the proposed Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act would be rolled out at club level only, he urged First Minister Alex Salmond to expand the legislation to include “foul-mouthed anti-English sectarian chanting” during Scotland games.

Much to the Provost’s “delight”, the Scottish Government last week confirmed that the new laws, punishable through a range of penalties up to a maximum five-year prison sentence, will give police powers to arrest anyone caught singing anglophobic songs at Scotland games. Set to be introduced early next year, the Bill will seek to punish anyone deemed guilty of “offensive and threatening behaviour expressed at and around football matches which is likely to cause public disorder.”

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