Humza Yousaf has demanded that the SPFL and SFA show real leadership against the rise in racism across Scottish football.
In an interview with the Daily Record the Scottish Justice Minister states that football has ‘some long standing issues’.
Despite facing no sanctions for domestic matches the club from Ibrox have twice been found guilty of racist actions by UEFA. Incredibly the SFA and SPFL haven’t commented on the issue that has resulted in the closure of 3,000 seats for two Europa League matches.
Anti-Irish racism seems to be part of the fabric of Scottish football but an incident involving Hearts forward Uche Ikpeazu during the Edinburgh derby has prompted Yousaf into action.
The Government minister, who attended the launch of Everyone Anyone at Ibrox in July told the Daily Record:
All forms of hate crime, including racism and sectarianism, are completely unacceptable. This behaviour is not unique to football but our national game has some long-standing issues.
That is why – like all of us – football authorities and clubs have a role to play in tackling them. I want the Scottish FA and SPFL to demonstrate real leadership and work with clubs and other organisations to make sure grounds are places where no one is exposed to abuse.
I’m working with the football authorities, clubs and other partners to consider what more can be done. Some clubs have taken robust and meaningful action and I’d like to see others follow their lead.
I have met the chief executives of Hearts and Hibs recently and I know they take racism extremely seriously and will take robust and meaningful action. The Scottish Government will support them – and all partners in football – in ridding our national game of this kind of vile abuse.