Alliance Sports Spokesperson Michael Long has said the Government must not delay in bringing equivalent legislation to the Football Offences Act to Northern Ireland.
Responding to statements made in Parliament by NI Sports Minister David Hanson, the Castlereagh Councillor stated: “The Minister is being nothing like forceful enough when he says he is merely ‘considering’ extending some court powers to quell riotous behaviour at football matches to Northern Ireland. Nothing short of the full Football Offences Act will suffice.
“The final stages of both the Irish League and Irish Cup last season were totally overshadowed by the scourge of riotous and violent behaviour. This is outright hooliganism, a reminder of the situation in England 20 years ago. That situation was changed by robust legislation in 1991 and 1999, and that same legislation is the only way to guarantee an end to similar, unacceptable behaviour at football grounds here.
“People who attend football matches simply to enjoy the game have a fundamental right to do so. The Government has already taken the necessary steps in England, and it must now do so here too.”