Scottish FA wants tougher rules on offensive chanting

SFA president Campbell Ogilvie
Clubs voted against a move towards a policy of strict liability in 2013

The Scottish Football Association is offering to work with the Scottish Professional Football League to create a set of rules better suited to stamping out sectarian singing.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster has hinted that for their fans making offensive chants at Raith Rovers.

No action is taken when a club can show it took steps to prevent such chanting.

But the SFA wants to create "more robust regulations".

Uefa's policy differs from the SPFL's policy in that the European governing body will punish clubs for fan behaviour even if clubs have acted to prevent incidents. Punishments can include bans, the partial closure of stadia, points deductions and fines.

The match delegate's report on the Scottish Championship game between Raith Rovers and Rangers at Stark's Park on 20 February referred to sectarian singing by a section of the travelling support.

On Tuesday, prior to seeing the report, Doncaster spoke of the "distasteful, shameful and selfish actions of a mindless minority" but admitted a club will "have no case to answer" if they "have done everything required in overall management of the event pre-match, during the game and post-match".

A day later a league statement was issued following an SPFL board meeting by conference call to discuss offensive behaviour.

It read: "The strong view of the SPFL board is that such behaviour has no place in Scottish football.

"These events and the current regulations in this area will be reviewed and discussed in detail when the board meets in person at Hampden in March."

SFA president Campbell Ogilvie has welcomed that SPFL statement, adding: "It is important that the game takes a collective stance against the kind of unacceptable behaviour that depicts Scottish football in a negative light, especially when there is a will among the respective bodies and member clubs to improve Scottish football's entertainment value to supporters and sponsors.

"It was for this reason that the Scottish FA Board raised a resolution at its Annual Meeting in 2013. This resolution was not carried by the membership.

"Last year, a working group of representatives from the Scottish FA and SPFL approved a new set of guidelines intended to bridge the gap between existing rules and strict liability but, despite the best intentions, it appears these guidelines have not been effective.

"While jurisdiction for league competitions rests with the SPFL, the Scottish FA is happy to assist in the creation of more robust regulations."