Monday, 28 April 2008

Questionable ways to defuse a sectarian atmosphere...

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Given that Celtic vs Rangers is a football derby with a long history of sectarian rivalry, you'd think the players at the two Glasgow giants might see it as wise to rise above it all and stay out of matters relating to the respective merits of Protestantism and Catholicism.

But if you're Celtic's Polish goalkeeper Artur Boruc, it seems the appropriate way to celebrate keeping the championship race alive with a 3-2 victory over Rangers is to remove your jersey to reveal a t-shirt bearing a photo of the late Pope John Paul II alongside the slogan "God Bless the Pope".

Boruc's a pious chap - nicknamed "Holy Goalie" by Celtic fans - and this isn't the first time he's fanned the flames of sectarianism at the Old Firm derby. In 2006 he received a police caution for breach of the peace for allegedly making "obscene gestures and blessings" to the Rangers fans, and at the next derby he was abused by Rangers supporters after crossing himself before the match.

It doesn't seem Boruc's latest antics have landed him in too much trouble with manager Gordon Strachan who told reporters "He's not a bad lad, to be fair (the Pope). If it was 'God bless Myra Hindley', I might have a problem."


Anonymous said...

It's no wonder fans of other clubs in scotland call rangers and celtic "the bigot brothers".