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Scotland and Ireland slammed by anti-racism agency

Sectarian chanting at the recent Rangers-Celtic encounter has been condemned by The Show Racism the Red Card agency. And while it condemns such sectarianism, Show Racism the Red Card was also keen to point out that the issues are equally serious in Ireland.

In a statement, the agency said: "Show Racism the Red Card holds the view that racism and sectarianism have no place in football or in society. We work to combat racism and sectarianism in Scotland and Ireland by engaging the players to promote our message. We have been supported by both Glasgow Rangers and Glasgow Celtic in developing the initiatives of our Scottish project.

"The issue of sectarianism is closely related to the issue of racism. Both exist as hateful and divisive ideologies. It is right that the Irish government raise this issue with the relevant authorities in Scotland.

"However the issue of racism and sectarianism are equally serious in Ireland.

"Following years of fundamental demographic change, we are now entering a new challenging period of economic change. With this change, there is a more urgent need for the Irish government to address the issues of racism and sectarianism in Ireland, so that racist and sectarian behaviour is minimised.

"As it is, the NPAR (National Action Plan against Racism) programme of the government ends in December and there are no indications as yet of a follow on programme. We are calling on the Minister for Integration to clarify his plans for government action in this area and resourcing anti-racism in education in particular."

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