Kicking bad behaviour out of football
A new partnership between Scottish football and the Scottish Government will promote positive citizenship.
The new group 'Promoting Citizenship through Football - A Government and Football Partnership' will be chaired by Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith and will promote positive citizenship by tackle issues such as:
- alcohol and drugs misuse
- anti-social behaviour
- domestic abuse
- continuing work on sectarianism and other bigoted behaviour
Making the announcement at Hampden as the Scotland squad gathers ahead of the weekend's qualifying match against Norway, Mr MacAskill said:
"Scottish football clubs are well aware of the support that local communities give them and of the influence they in turn can have.
"As a Nation we are not only passionate about the national team but the national game. This is an opportunity to use football to motivate people.
"A lot is said and written about the less appealing side of football but there is a great deal of good work being done by clubs and individuals across the country.
"As well as continuing to tackle sectarianism, the new group will look at issues such as anti-social behaviour, alcohol and drug misuse, domestic abuse and violence.
"This can help to tackle the problems that exist in some sections of the game and promote lifestyle changes across the Country. These problems are in no way confined to football but it can play a vital role in helping resolve them."
Scottish FA Chief Executive Gordon Smith said:
"We are delighted to be involved in this new partnership with the Scottish Government and the Police. Football is a great sport and its influence is felt right across the country. We want to make sure that the passion and excitement that football generates is used to help communities and improve lives.
"This new partnership will allow us to seek out new ways to tackle many of the difficult issues that sadly still exist in Scotland. While these issues may not always be football related, it is only right that the national sport plays its part in helping making Scotland a better country."
The Promoting Citizenship through Football - A Government and Football Partnership will be an expansion of the Sectarianism in Football group and will continue to be chaired by Gordon Smith, Chief Executive of the SFA. The SPL, SFL, ACPOS, sportScotland and Scottish Government will also have representatives on the group.
The group should meet in its new form before the end of the year.
A Scottish Government official will be seconded to the SFA to act as a single contact point for the new group. It is hoped that they will be in post by the end of the year.
The Scottish Government is committed to supporting Scottish football to promote equalities and tackle social problems. In addition to the £2.5 million already committed through the Cashback scheme in the current financial round, up to March 2011, we have also committed £600,000 over the same period to tackle sectarianism and racism. In the current financial year we are also providing £70,000 to promote healthy living.
In future, instead of applying to different parts of Government, football clubs will put ideas for initiatives to the group. The group will then allocate funding providing a more coherent and joined up approach.