Alliance slams Government for ignoring sectarianism in football

Alliance Party Vice Chair and Sports Spokesperson Michael Long has blasted Direct Rule Ministers and the last devolved Minister for failing to act to stop racism and sectarianism at local football matches. He stated that Alliance has been campaigning for a number of years for the introduction of legislation similar to the Football Offences Act in the UK and that the ball will now be in the court of the new devolved Minister. His comments follow the IFA’s demand in Saturday’s Belfast Telegraph for the Act to be introduced here.

The Castlereagh Councillor said: “A string of Direct Rule Ministers and the last devolved DCAL Minister have failed to tackle the issue of sectarianism and racism at local football matches.

“They talk a good game when it comes to a shared future, yet they fail to deliver every time they are given an opportunity.

“Demands for legislation similar to the Football Offences Act have been sitting in these Minister’s in-trays for years and they have done nothing to address the issue.

“On 8 May, the Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure will take control of matters relating to this area. The ball will be in their court and we will be keeping the pressure on them to give us the laws we need to drive the thugs off our terraces.

“Much progress has been made in local football to banish the thugs from our grounds, but we need laws that can be enforced to get rid of this element for good.

“The Irish League can flourish if more people come to watch matches and it must be a key priority for the next Minister to get the ball rolling on this.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *