Scottish FA in year-ban plan for players guilty of racist or other discriminatory behaviour

By David Currie & Eilidh DaviesBBC Scotland
Rangers' Glen Kamara confronts Slavia Prague's Ondre Kudela
The measures are a response to a racist remark aimed at Rangers' Glen Kamara last season

Players found guilty of racist or other discriminatory behaviour could soon be banned for up to a year under a Scottish FA action plan.

Scottish football supporters would also be able to report racist, sectarian or other discriminatory behaviour at matches by text.

The Scottish FA is working on the plan with all 42 SPFL clubs.

Inclusion and diversity officer David McCardle told BBC Scotland that even one incident was "one too many".

"We've seen over the last number of weeks that these incidents are starting to raise their head within Scottish football and Scottish society," he said.

"Whether it's a big problem or a small problem, there are incidents happening that we need to eradicate to make our game welcoming and safe."

The plan has been drawn up following the racist abuse Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara suffered during his side's Europa League match against Slavia Prague at Ibrox last season.

Asked why only a year-long ban was being considered for players, McCardle said: "By going from what we previously had to a lifetime ban without any form of education to any potential culprits, we felt that, working with the PFA and working with players, we had to take this next step.

"If a player is consistently brought up on charges based on discrimination, that might be something that can be looked at."

There have also been a number of allegations of the use of racist language by supporters during SPFL matches this season.

The Scottish FA's text reporting idea aims to ensure that fans can report spectators who use discriminatory language without fear of intimidation.

McCardle believes it would not be a big financial burden on clubs and pointed out that the Scottish FA's anti-discrimination measures were the next to be rolled out following recent anti-homophobia and mental health action plans.

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