Northern Ireland news

Police preparing file for PPS after football fans caught on video singing 'we hate Catholics'

A still from the video in which people wearing Northern Ireland replica shirts are heard singing 'We hate Catholics'

POLICE are preparing a file for the Public Prosecution Service in relation to football fans captured on video singing "we hate Catholics" at a Belfast bar.

A number of people have been interviewed by the PSNI after the footage emerged of the sectarian chanting.

During the video, believed to have been taken on March 24, a number of people are seen singing, "We hate Catholics, we hate Roman Catholics" to the tune of Tiffany's 'I Think We're Alone Now'.

It has been suggested the 20-second video was filmed in a bar in south Belfast after Northern Ireland's win against Belarus in a European Championship qualifier.

A crowd of around 20 people are seen in the bar, however, not all were singing the sectarian lyrics, which has previously been chanted by Rangers FC fans.

It has now emerged that the PSNI has interviewed a number of people in relation to the sectarian chanting after they voluntarily attended Musgrave police station for questioning.

"A file is being prepared for submission to the Public Prosecution Service," a spokesperson said.

The IFA condemned the actions of those seen in the online video wearing Northern Ireland replica shirts and singing the sectarian song.

The organisation, which states that it takes a zero tolerance approach to sectarianism, said those identified would be banned from future Northern Ireland matches.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill also described those involved in the sectarian video as "mindless idiots" and said the behaviour was in no way representative of 99.9 per cent of the team's supporters.

Castlederg-based Killen Rangers FC also issued a statement saying it was aware that some club members were present in Belfast for the Northern Ireland match atWindsor Park.

The club apologised for "the obvious offence" caused to Catholics after the sectarian singing adding that it wished to "condemn" the chanting "without hesitation".

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