August 27, 2006


Celtic player's sign of cross caution 'will make Scotland a laughing stock' (ARTHUR MACMILLAN, Scotland on Sunday)

THE decision by the Crown Office to caution a Celtic footballer for "inciting" Rangers supporters will make Scotland the "laughing stock of the world", it was claimed yesterday, amid growing anger about the decision.

Labour MP Jim Devine condemned the warning given to Artur Boruc, who reportedly crossed himself in front of rival fans during an Old Firm game.

The MP for Livingston, who is a lifelong Celtic supporter, described the decision as an embarrassment, as footballers in "virtually every stadium in the world" went through a match ritual, including blessing themselves.

Strathclyde Police investigated claims that Boruc, 26, angered a section of the home support after allegedly making the religious gesture at the start of the second half of the match at Ibrox stadium on February 12.

Officers later submitted a report to the procurator fiscal, who then issued the goalkeeper with a warning. [...]

However, Devine said yesterday: "I find it sad that some people in the 21st century find this offensive and feel the need to make a complaint to police about it. Surely the police and Crown Office could be spending their time more effectively than responding to a complaint about a ritual that takes place on a routine basis in just about every football match. I will be writing to the Crown Office for a full explanation of their decision as this could end up happening every week."

The Catholic Church described the decision to warn the Polish footballer about his conduct as "alarming".

The surprising thing is that when he made the sign everyone didn't shrivel o the ground like vampires.


NEWS that Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc has been rapped by police for crossing himself at a match has sent shockwaves around the world.

From the U.S. to the Far East, bulletins reported how a Catholic footballer was accused of a crime for making the sign of the cross.

And every time the story is retold it is explained how sectarian hatred is a scar on Scottish society.

The image of Scotland being beamed around the globe is not one we can take any pride in.

First Minister Jack McConnell once said that sectarianism was Scotland's "secret shame".

Well, whether you think Boruc is guilty of a crime or not, it is a secret no more.

The whole world thinks we are a narrow-minded petty little nation.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 27, 2006 11:04 AM
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