Why are many Scottish football fans racist?

Football fans in Scotland: Celtic bans its ultras

The club leadership has long been annoyed. Now Celtic Glasgow has driven the Ultras out of their fan block and distributed them in the stadium.

October 2013: Celtic Park before the Champions League game against Barcelona. Image: Reuters

The Celtic Glasgow Green Brigade is Britain's only relevant ultra grouping. Emulating her role models on the continent, she tries to improve the atmosphere in Celtic Park. Decades of repression have turned the British Isles' stadiums into desolate arenas. No wonder that the Green Brigade is growing.

Your block in the stadium is "Section 111". This should remain empty from now on. The reason for this is by no means a lack of interest. The club continues to enjoy great sympathy in Scotland. The club management of Celtic Glasgow has decided to relocate the holders of season tickets from Block 111 and to scatter them throughout the stadium.

This is part of a package of measures that the club has been forced to implement after their away game at Motherwell FC. Another step is the imposition of preventive stadium bans for home and away games against 128 people.

They are predominantly pronounced against members of the Green Brigade and apply as long as the investigation into the incidents is ongoing. A press release states: “Events like those on Friday evening do not represent the Celtic fan culture or the club. These events were a shame for our great football club and are absolutely inexcusable. "

What happened? Last Friday, green smoke cans and Bengalos were lit during the game at Fir Park Stadium. A torch of fire flew into the square. Several seats in the overcrowded block were destroyed. The Green Brigade is now held responsible for this. A Scottish sports newspaper even headlined its issue, "Stop this now or someone is going to die!"

Hopping together

Michael Pringle is a journalist and has been writing for the Celtic fanzine for over ten years More than 90 minutes. He has been familiar with the Green Brigade since it was founded. “Many fans want to be part of this atmosphere again and again and make a pilgrimage to where the group is. The seats were destroyed because there were so many people in the block and you jumped together, ”he says. Meanwhile, the group regrets the incidents: “We neither approve of the destruction of seats, nor do we welcome the fact that pyrotechnics are thrown on the square

The focus has been on the Celtics Ultras for a long time. That may be due to their political commitment. The Green Brigade collects donations for the homeless and does anti-racism work. Above all, however, she tries to tackle the repression in Scottish football. A while ago she co-initiated the “Fans Against Criminalization” campaign. It should contribute to a critical examination of the "Offensive Behavior at Football Act". This makes denominational insults at football games a punishable offense.

In practice, however, the usual chants of mockery are also followed in football. In addition, the Irish history and customs of the club are suppressed, so the critics. At the Champions League game against AC Milan a few weeks ago, the Ultras showed pictures of the Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace and the IRA icon Bobby Sands. The Uefa then initiated an investigation. Political statements are not allowed in the stadium. Something like that should no longer happen, this also shows the quick action of the club officials.

In August of this year they tried to close the ultras sector. After numerous protests, they refrained from doing so. After their exile, the Ultras fear that the “Fans Against Criminalization” campaign will lose supporters. The public had just started to support the cause. The blocking of block 111 also means that the ultras are deprived of the crucial place for their protest.