Alliance Sports Spokesperson Michael Long has written again to Minister David Hanson calling for the extension of the Football Offences Act to Northern Ireland.
The Castlereagh Councillor stated: “Recent controversy over chanting by Rangers fans during a European game in Spain has enlivened debate about what is acceptable behaviour in football grounds – and shown that the game’s governing authorities are unwilling to get a real grip on it. That is why legislation was required in England and Wales, and why legislation is required here in Northern Ireland.
“It is appropriate in Community Relations Week that we look at the great strides that have been made by the Irish Football Association (IFA) in combating sectarianism and racism in our grounds and making football more appealing to spectators. However, the IFA cannot do it alone – it needs community support backed up in law.
“The game of football in England and Wales was turned around by legislation concerning stadiums and what constitutes acceptable behaviour within them. We have begun the process here – but I have emphasized to the Minister that the application of a similar Football Offences Act is absolutely necessary.”