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‘Sign of the cross’

October 2006

Scottish prosecutors have been criticised for cautioning the Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc for crossing himself during a match against Rangers. Polish born Boruc was cautioned for a breach of the peace over the incident at an Old Firm match at Ibrox in February.

The Catholic Church called the caution ‘worrying and alarming’ as the sign of the cross was globally accepted as a ‘gesture of religious reverence’. Players making the sign of the cross after scoring in football or even when running onto a football pitch are commonly seen in international football.

However, the Crown Office said the gesture was provocative and caused crowd trouble. Boruc was cautioned as an alternative to prosecution, but still leaving him with a criminal record.


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