Tuesday, November 28, 2006

No Return for Casuals

Well done to Lothian and Borders Police for arresting the Hibs and Hearts casuals involved in disturbances in Edinburgh last month.

The eight arrests, made after dawn raids on addresses in the Edinburgh area, are said to be just the beginning of police action after the incident.

Good stuff. Let’s hope those found guilty are properly punished and barred from football.

And barred for life. Earlier this month Izak Cowie, a 38 year old nutter and a member of Airdrie’s infamous Section B casuals, was banned from every football ground in the UK until 2009.

Leaving court he spoke some rubbish about returning to the game to see Airdrie in the SPL in three years.

He should never get into any football ground again.

The problem of casuals has never really gone away. But for a few years it was underground and, to an extent, out of mind.

If recent events in Edinburgh show that it is returning to the fore then the football authorities should begin to crack down hard. Lifetime bans are a start. Any clubs that aren’t seen to be dealing with the problem should face harsh penalties.

There is no room in the game for this brand of violent head case.

Reports in Edinburgh suggest that some of the people who were involved were forty something men who were returning to the battlegrounds of their youth.

Ask yourself what forty year old that would willingly go out and have fight after a football match? And if he chooses to do it he should be locked up.

Football has moved on. Not all the changes have been for the better. But the casual problem has no place in the modern game and no place in modern society.