FOOTBALL, despite its recent trials and tribulations, financial and otherwise, is still the people's game; and while it thrives on rivalry, it also has an abiding capacity to unite.
As a new touring photographic exhibition, The Colour of Our Scarves, illustrates, it gives thousands of people up and down the land a common cause every matchday - to cheer on their team.
The initiative, says Paul Goodwin, head of Supporters Direct in Scotland, aims to emphasise to the supporter base that all fans are just the same - it is "just the colours of our scarves that are different". The exhibition, involving 200 candid photographs from grounds across Scotland, demonstrates that a fan goes through the same emotions on a matchday no matter what colours he wears, whether it's standing on the terracing at Cliftonhill, Coatbridge, or sitting in the top tier at Ibrox stadium - to a man, woman and child they can identify with the supporter who is pictured throwing his crutches in the air when his team scores.
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The aim is to break down the barriers of sectarianism. It is to be hoped the final whistle can soon be blown on that particular blight.