Celtic - rangers rivalry - A provocation i don't get

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Postby Sabre » Sun Aug 27, 2006 11:32 am

STORM AS GOALKEEPER PAYS 'SIGN OF THE CROSS' PENALTY

Scotland inflamed as Celtic player gets legal caution for religious gesture

Lorna Martin, Scotland editor
Sunday August 27, 2006
The Observer

A furious row has erupted after a Celtic footballer was given a formal caution for blessing himself during an Old Firm game. Artur Boruc, the Polish goalkeeper, was accused of inciting violence and angering rival supporters by making the gesture in front of Rangers fans at Ibrox stadium in Glasgow.

The Crown Office's decision to give him an official warning has provoked a strong reaction, with politicians and church leaders saying it will make Scotland the 'laughing stock of the world' as players often cross themselves in football grounds. Boruc was cautioned for a breach of the peace after complaints were made by Rangers fans following the game in February.

The Catholic church has condemned Scottish prosecutors, with spokesman Peter Kearney saying many Catholics would feel subject to persecution following the decision. 'It's an alarming development, especially since the Sign of the Cross is globally accepted as a gesture of religious reverence,' he said. 'It was commonplace throughout the World Cup. It is extremely regrettable that Scotland seems to have made itself one of the few countries in the world where this simple religious gesture is considered an offence.'

The Crown Office said a caution was issued as an alternative to prosecution. A spokesman said that as Boruc made the gesture before a crowd in the charged atmosphere of an Old Firm game it constituted a breach of the peace and had 'provoked alarm'.

But many politicians were also critical. Nationalist leader Alex Salmond said the 'ludicrous' move was the type of action which brought the law and legal system into disrepute. 'The procurator fiscal and the Crown Office are acting in a way that will inflame rather than reduce religious antagonism,' he said.

Liberal Democrat MSP Donald Gorrie said he felt the situation could have been addressed by talking to Boruc privately. 'I think they were wrong to focus on the crossing rather than the whole performance, as described to me by quite sensible people who were definitely wound up by it as they were intended to be, and he shouldn't do that,' he added.

Neither club has commented on the cautioning, but Eddie Toner, a former general secretary of the Celtic Supporters Association, expressed fury with the club, claiming it had 'hung Boruc out to dry'.

'Perhaps those who made the complaint to the police should have a long hard look at themselves, as it seems that it is they who have the sectarian problem,' he added. 'The gesture is made by sportsmen and women all over the world, but bizarrely only seems to cause offence here in Scotland.'

However, Rangers Supporters Group said it was 'disappointing' Celtic did not take action after the game. Stephen Smith, spokesman for the group, added: 'Professional footballers are meant to set an example. What he did was deliberately provocative and completely done to wind up the fans.'

The fixture takes place in a highly charged atmosphere and has produced no shortage of controversy. Time, the international news magazine, once described it as 90 minutes of sheer hatred.


Can anybody explain me how making the cross sign is inciting to violence, if we bear in mind that U.K. is a democracy and in those there's freedom of thought and religion?

I'm catholic, but I respect protestants, needless to say. I wouldn't insult never a protestant by laughing or not respecting their beliefs, but it shocks me a little bit that the spokeman of Ranger fans talk about taking measures against the player.

Perhaps it's just that I miss something important, but here players do the cross sign  many times and I couldn't think it could bother to anybody.


Perhaps it's that I didn't see the images, I don't know HOW he did it, or with what face, or if he did other gestures. Every crowd deserves a respect, but as far as I can read, I can't see he insulted anybody.

Thoughts? Anybody has seen what happened?
Last edited by Sabre on Sun Aug 27, 2006 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby 66-1112520797 » Sun Aug 27, 2006 11:43 am

For what its worth I dont think there is a problem with making the sign of the cross, and I'm not catholic. But if there was anywhere in Europe it could cause controversy its definately there.

I have a feeling that a tin of worms has just opened in this thread !
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Postby Sabre » Sun Aug 27, 2006 11:47 am

I do not mean that, honestly. I just want to know what exactly infuriated the Rangers fans. I do not want harsh discussions between us, please.
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Postby 66-1112520797 » Sun Aug 27, 2006 12:06 pm

Sabre wrote:I do not mean that, honestly. I just want to know what exactly infuriated the Rangers fans. I do not want harsh discussions between us, please.

I assure you mate there will be no harsh words against us, I dont understand it really. Maybe a few of our Irish posters could explain why ?
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Postby 112-1077774096 » Sun Aug 27, 2006 1:26 pm

Bamaga man wrote:
Sabre wrote:I do not mean that, honestly. I just want to know what exactly infuriated the Rangers fans. I do not want harsh discussions between us, please.

I assure you mate there will be no harsh words against us, I dont understand it really. Maybe a few of our Irish posters could explain why ?

but they are scottish teams so the irish probably wont explain      :D
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Postby Des » Sun Aug 27, 2006 1:39 pm

Its laughable brother.When you think how sensitive they are in Ibrox -one wrong movement of the hand when ya score and you are doomed. :no Same for the other side, you dare not walk back to the centre circle in any way that looks like a march .
I dont get these religonists at all brother.We are on this earth to  prosper and learn and they teach us everything thats wrong. All we need to do is 'lift it up' raise the soul and treat everyone like brothers and sisters.
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Postby Ciggy » Sun Aug 27, 2006 2:02 pm

loads of players bless themselves absolutly loads, I dont understand the arguement atall, feckin idiots always complain about something.
There is no-one anywhere in the world at any stage who is any bigger or any better than this football club.

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Postby account deleted by request » Sun Aug 27, 2006 3:14 pm

In a way its similar to when Gazza was in trouble for pretending to play the flute when he was at Rangers. People looking for slights about religion and incitement, will usually find them.
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Postby 48-1119859832 » Sun Aug 27, 2006 3:39 pm

Celtic and Ranger's rivalry consists of much more than football, there is a lot of dislike between the two clubs based on religious beliefs and differences. There is centuries of history behind all of this though, so I won't go into it.
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Postby 66-1120597113 » Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:50 pm

I can understand why Sabre!!

Im not saying that i agree with it though...i just want to add that!!

Basically Rangers are a protestant team and Celtic are a Catholic team!Both these teams have a huge fanbase in Northern Ireland.The fans are very sectarian.A lot of Rangers fans hate catholics and vice versa!
Its pathetic really but thats the way it is!!

Apparently the keeper in question turned to Rangers supporters and blessed himself(i am a protestant and a unionist,but this would not offend me)
Everyone has a right to their own religion!

Basically this was seen as provocative as a lot of Rangers(and Celtic) supporters are that narrow minded that a different religion seems offensive!!It basically comes down to hatred and secterianism Sabre !!

I'll give you a little tip as well.If you cannot understand this never come to Belfast mate!! :D
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Postby greenred » Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:51 pm

Since when is making the sign of the Cross a provocation to fellow Christians?

I don't understand this story at all. ???
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Postby Des » Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:08 pm

Basically Greenred, its just people living so far in the past, theyve got stuck there. Id say being offended at the sign of the cross would be more anti christian than anything?
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Postby 48-1119859832 » Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:08 pm

It's just loyalists getting on their high horse, that's all.

Sabre, I suggest you read UK History from the days of Henry VIII to the present day and then you'll have a much better understanding of why trivial gestures in an Old Firm derby can cause a lot of controversy.
Last edited by 48-1119859832 on Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Sabre » Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:28 pm

I had a nationalist history teacher and he spent two fécking months in primary school explaining the history of Ireland and England and all that. We must have been the only students in Spain who knew who Cromwell was. It was nice knowing that foreign history, but a bit funny because he should be explaining the Spanish civil war instead.  :laugh:

I know the basics. I'm catholic, but I'm a bit like that new mate that calls us brothers, I love every body, muslims too. But as a christian I couldn't understand what's the insult in the Cross sign, as green red points out.

Anyway I get it. It's just that both sides don't need much of a pretext to keep fighting. If it wasn't the Cross, it would have been that they didn't like how he looked at them. And viceversa.


Thank you mates.
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Postby luvliverpool » Sun Aug 27, 2006 8:39 pm

Well where do I start???

I am from Scotland have lived here all my life and to this day of all my 26yrs alive have never understood the Religious rvarly between them.  FFS they are football clubs and football is somehting we have known and loved since Children so where the Religion comes into it beats me!!!!

I am so glad that when I was 4yrs old the 2 clubs I chose to support and still support to this day are Liverpool and Dundee Utd. Neither club has Secretarianism chants (not that I have heard anyway) and this is the way it should be.

It is like the comment above, this goes way way back and continues to get handed down to offspings/new supporters. I think it is a shame when a Football club gets associated with Religion I mean ffs where do the 2 come together? ????

I think it is the fans being petty as when Gazza played the flute otherwise known as the "sash" himself and Rangers got ribbed for this in a big big way (and the Sash has been proven in scotland as non-sectarian) so why this caused a stink I do not know....so when the Rangers fans see any Celtic keeper cross themselves on the pitch it does not upset the majority of fans however what the Celtic keeper had done was stare right into the Rangers crowd (like what Gazza done) and cross himself which caused the stir as he could of easily done it facing the other way. I think both sets of supporters are as bad as 1 and other and will continue to do so in this petty way.

Funny thing is Gazza did not even know what he had done when he done the Sash as the Rangers players shiowed him in training 1 day and did not even tell him what it means so in his defence he thought it was just a Gers celebration and not a dig at Celtic supporters, the Celtic keeper knew this would upset the fans expecially if done right infront of them as the Celtic players have been doing this for years to wind them up - and no one has complained until now

I do not disagree with players crossing themseves on the pitch as this is their religion and this has been done for as many years as I can remember, I just think it is a shame that the "Auld Firm" fans don't feel the same.

I could go on and on and on and I am 100% convinced you will still be non the wiser as it still makes no sense to me!!

Hope that has helped a bit Sabre
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