Trouble illustrates urgency of Football Offences Act – Long

Alliance Castlereagh Councillor Michael Long has said disturbances at the Oval after an Irish Cup match further illustrate that a Football Offences Act must be made priority by the new Assembly. Such laws would be along the lines of the successful legislation implemented in England.

Councillor Long stated: “Trouble after Saturday’s Cup match has once again shown why Northern Ireland club football is a no-go area for so many people, and has the potential to embarrass the new sponsor of the competition. It is exactly the reverse of the positive moves brought about and experienced by supporters of the international team.

“Good government is not just about policies, it is about priorities. England and Wales are now seen as leaders in the field of successful legislation concerning behaviour of spectators inside grounds and the standards of the grounds themselves. In Northern Ireland, we have been left 20 years behind.

“Therefore, a Football Offences Act similar to that brought in in England and Wales must be made priority by any new Assembly. That would be the best way to encourage people to attend local football at club level, alongside top-level sponsorship and positive media coverage. Why are we ignoring a perfectly good solution on our doorstep?”


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