EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) – The Scottish government has laid out tough new laws targeting racists, bigots and sectarianism at football matches.
The draft legislation published Friday would create two offenses punishable by up to five years in jail for behavior deemed to ''incite religious, racial or other forms of hatred'' in and around football grounds.
It also covers online hate crime - such as abusive comments posted on Twitter.
Sectarianism has plagued Scottish football and clubs welcomed the new legislation, which follows several high-profile incidents - including the assault of Celtic's manager Neil Lennon and parcel bombs mailed to high-profile club supporters.
The bill is being fast-tracked through Scotland's Parliament so the law can be in place by July 23, the first day of the new season.