To What Extent Has Sectarianism Clouded Scottish Football and What Factors Have Proven Most Pivotal in Its Development?
To What Extent Has Sectarianism Clouded Scottish Football and What Factors Have Proven Most Pivotal in Its Development?To what extent has Sectarianism clouded Scottish football and what factors have proven most pivotal in its development?
Sectarianism can broadly be understood as a 'narrow-minded following of a particular belief by members of a denomination that leads to prejudice, bigotry, discrimination, malice and ill-will towards members, or presumed members, of another denomination. Sectarianism can occur in different ways, either at an individual, group, cultural or institutional level' (Scottish Executive, 2006). From this, it can be determined that sectarianism refers to negative, aggressive or inappropriate conduct from one individual or group towards another from a different religious background. An extreme example of this was found as tensions heightened in the Glasgow loyalist area of Bridgeton in 1995, as 16 year old Celtic fan Mark Scott was brutally murdered walking home from a Celtic match by Rangers fan Jason Campbell, 23. This behaviour has been widely attributed to Scottish football, and its fans, for the better part of a century since the institution of Glasgow Celtic football club in 1888 and continues to prevail menacingly within Scottish football.
The sectarian rivalry within Scottish football largely centres on its two dominant and largest clubs, Glasgow-based Celtic and Rangers. Berger (1984) concludes that in studying religious factions we can scrutinise human passions and motivations unrivalled in any other sector of social life. Indeed, it can be argued that sectarianism evokes unprecedented responses from, previously placid, individuals and has resulted in several atrocities through the years. Its significance today is overwhelming as it has blighted Scottish football's global image relentlessly and strenuously for many years, footballs governing body FIFA now must address the Scottish Football Associations (SFA) inability to drag supporters and clubs out of the medieval mindset of sectarianism.
The religious affiliations football clubs have become...