Action group tackles sectarianism

SCOTTISH officials have joined forces to form an action group in a bid to tackle sectarianism among football fans.

The Joint Action Group (JAG) met this week to deliver recommendations on improving the game before the new season begins.

In attendance were first minister Alex Salmond and Strathclyde police chief constable Stephen House, as well as bosses from Rangers and Celtic football clubs, and SFA, SFL and SPL chiefs.

It was announced that a national football policing unit will be established, backed by £1.8 million funding from Holyrood.

All SFA member clubs are to adhere to a code of conduct for players, coaches and officials, to be established before the end of the 2011-12 season – and there will also be a code of conduct in place for supporters.

The Scottish government are also to consider creating additional rules for the Licensing Board, with the possibility of restricting alcohol sales around matches.

This year’s new year old firm derby match will also be rescheduled to Wednesday, December 28, and the JAG group is also hoping to tackle domestic violence related to football by working with the ACPOS domestic abuse working group.

The first minister commented: “All of the partners here today have made a real commitment to turn words into action and the powerful proposals we have agreed highlight our determination to work together”.