SPFL issue new guidelines on dealing with supporter misconduct

Police respond to disorder at the Scottish Cup final
Scenes of disorder at the Scottish Cup final put rules on misconduct under the spotlight

The Scottish Professional Football League has issued new regulations aimed at tackling supporter misconduct.

All 42 of its member clubs are expected to take strict disciplinary measures against fans who indulge in anti-social behaviour during matches.

The updated guidance, which comes into force immediately, states that home clubs are responsible for "good order and security".

Clubs are also urged to step up efforts to identify culprits.

Under the previous rules, clubs could argue that they had taken all practical steps to deter misbehaviour inside their stadiums.

Now they must been seen to actively pursue cases and take "appropriate" action against the perpetrators.

In June, following disorder at the Scottish Cup final, Justice Secretary Michael Matheson called for "a transparent and robust scheme" to prevent and deal with unacceptable conduct.

He went on to warn: "The Scottish government is prepared to act if Scottish football isn't."

On the rule changes, SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: "The SPFL and its member clubs are committed to preventing and to addressing unacceptable conduct where it arises, to ensure our stadiums are friendly, welcoming and safe environments where all supporters can enjoy Scottish football.

"This ongoing work includes this updated guidance for clubs which sets out the reasonably practicable measures that member clubs can take to address this issue and to identify and sanction those who engage in unacceptable conduct.

"It has been fully consulted on with all 42 clubs, the Scottish FA and the Scottish Government and, indeed, dialogue continues with the Government on a number of further measures which will be discussed early this year."

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