Daily Mail – August 26, 2006:

Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc was cautioned after complaints were made about his behaviour at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow in front of Ranger’s fans.

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 game on February 12.

“On this occasion, the actions included a combination of behaviour before a crowd in the charged atmosphere of an Old Firm match which provoked alarm and crowd trouble and as such constituted a breach of the peace.

Church spokesman Peter Kearney said: “It is extremely regrettable that Scotland seems to have made itself one of the few countries in the world where this simply religious gesture is considered an offence.”

Related to the story of the Canadian who was arrested for praying in public!

  1. GregAllen says:

    How long did it take you to find the picture of football Jesus? Perfect graphic!

  2. moss says:

    I won’t try to explain to an essentially American audience the tensions inherent in an Auld Firm derby. But, relying on the Daily Mail account is misleading.

    From today’s Glasgow Sunday Herald:

    “Police reports highlighted three hand gestures made by 26-year-old Boruc during an Old Firm match in February – a V sign at the crowd, another obscene gesture at the crowd and a blessing…

    The Crown Office insisted it was not simply the blessing which prompted the police report and the caution. A spokesman said: “It is not the fact he is crossing himself – that happens routinely during games with some players. It was his behaviour as a whole that we took into account.

    “Having considered all the available evidence, including the statements of witnesses and video recordings of the response of the crowd, but not the incident itself, which was not caught on camera, the procurator fiscal concluded that it was necessary to bring clearly to the player’s attention that conduct which involved gesticulating at and incensing the crowd at a football match amounted to the offence of breach of the peace and was unacceptable.”

    I rarely miss one of these derbies — though watching on tape delay — and the event wasn’t caught on camera. In practice, Sky telecast crews are like American TV crews. They don’t offer up fans running out on the pitch any more than they would routinely replay obscene gestures by a player.

  3. Uncle Jim says:

    Wild guess time. Religion is aiding terrorism, so religion is a new front on the global war against terrorism. Public opinion of God shows negative feelings. In a recent poll Gods approval rating for his handling of the weather is 50%, the next hurricane could send approval rating down by 20 points according to pollsters. God is helping terrorize the United States with weather, so DHS puts God on the do not worship list.

  4. tkane says:

    No, #2 seems more plausible than the title conjectures. And as for #3, well, joke or no, the real ticket in the rise of terrorism is the availability of funds to the reactionary wackos. Wanna defang the terrorists? Stop sending money to the Middle East (oil money). Drive a gas sipper.

  5. Uncle Jim says:

    I did my part by not going to church this morning. You have to drive there and that takes gasoline.

  6. ECA says:

    AS long as I’ dont care HOW or what you pray to/for, then YOU dont care WHO/WHAT I pray to/for…

    Do send the girls over to talk about it tho…almost converted a few to Buhdisn

  7. Paul Navarre says:

    Just to amplify moss’ comments there is nothing in American sports that can compare to the atmosphere when Celtic plays Rangers. Celtic is traditionally supported by Catholics and Rangers is traditionally supported by Protestants. Imagine Northern Ireland in a stadium and you are getting in the right direction. That’s not to say that there are gun battles or anything but the mentality is similar.

    Scotland is working hard to keep sectarianism out of soccer but they are struggling against generations of prejudice.

    Anytime a player taunts the fans there should be repercussions. In this charged atmosphere what the player did (especially the *way* he did it) was definately intended to taunt the Rangers fans. It had nothing to do with a simple demonstration of faith.

    Peter Kearney ought to be ashamed of himself for making this a religious issue when in fact it is a sectarian issue.

  8. Eideard says:

    OK, done watching futba’ for the morning. Saw Randy Lerner enjoying the team he just bought in England — doing better than the Browns! Aston Villa 2 — 0 Newcastle United.

    The incident in question is miniscule compared to other “taunting” events that happened in the 2nd half of the SPL season as it was. Players rushing to celebrate a goal at corner flags [where visiting supporters were usually relegated] was banned — and players received fines and yellow cards for doing so.

    Normally, an incident like this is settled between the SFA, PFA and club management — usually resulting in a fine. I guess nothing was done, this time [I don’t recall hearing much at all about it]; so, some church-types, Ranger supporters and a couple of bored coppers decided to make it an issue.

    Within the context of the current [ever ongoing] struggle against sectarian ideology at football matches in Scotland, it’s a tempest in a teacup. Saying that — it’s lightyears better than back in the day!

    I remember when you didn’t go to an Auld Firm Derby in groups smaller than ten — if you wore your team colors.

  9. joshua says:

    Those zany Glaswegian lads are at it again I see 🙂

    It wasn’t the guy crossing himself, it was the other stuff he did to piss off his taunters behind him. It really is minor stuff and he was just yellowed for it. But the Scottish football league and damn near every one else in Scotland is trying to turn the old sectarian rivalry into nothing more than a normal sport one.

    As Eideard said…..in the old days just being in the wrong part of Glasgow , on the wrong day with the wrong team colours could get you beaten , stabbed, shot, drawn and quartered….literally.

  10. Teyecoon says:

    3. Funny and true. Religion is like a skeleton…they both belong at home in your closet especially since the one causes you to seek out the other. ; )

  11. ECA says:

    I just suggest we all be happy and get along…

    I dont deal well with PREACHERS that try to tell me HOW I should lead my life…Using old testaments, that were OLD when christ was young.


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