THE Scottish Government will step in to rid Scottish football of the “vile cancer” of sectarianism if the game fails to deal with the problem itself, the Justice Secretary has said.

Humza Yousaf issued the warning in the wake of incidents including sectarian chants, coins being thrown at players and match officials, pitch invasions and seats being ripped up at stadiums.

Yousaf told MSPs: “While we would prefer football to take action, we are considering a range of options – including the role of strict liability and the licensing of football stadiums – and I would welcome contributions from across the chamber on how we can work together to address this issue.

"It is important for football to demonstrate leadership on this issue, but if action is not taken we reserve the right to act to rid this vile cancer from our national game.”

An independent review of football policing commissioned by Police Scotland will be published today.