RANGERS and Celtic fans are among those who are joining forces to are support a new campaign in grounds across Scotland for the scrapping of a controversial law designed to stamp out sectarian abuse at football matches.

The demonstration over Saturday and Sunday aims to show a united fans front in protest against the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 on the grounds that it is "fundamentally illiberal and unnecessarily restricts freedom of expression".

Supporters group Fans Against Criminalisation say protests are expected at Scottish Premiership and Scottish Championship grounds featuring fans from Celtic, Rangers, Hibs, Motherwell, Kilmarnock, St Johnstone, Hamilton Academical, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Greenock Morton.

Hibs fans unfurled an "Axe The Act" banner on Sunday during their 3-0 victory over Alloa at Easter Road.

One banner unfurled at Celtic Park on Saturday said: "Scottish football - not singing, no celebrating."

Another banner containing a rude gesture and the words, "Recognise This",  appeared to be a stark objection to the Scottish Professional Football League’s bid to bring in facial recognition cameras. Some fans have warned  they risk driving fans away for making them feel like criminals.

An FAC spokesman said: "We have now been harassed, intimidated, filmed, followed, demonised and criminalised for four years and we have had enough.

"We will be mounting protests at future games and future venues and we will continue to fight this Act until the Scottish Government listen to us. We call on our clubs and the footballing authorities to back us in this campaign before the Government and the police destroy our game."

Rangers play Queen of the South at Palmerston Park, Dumfries on Sunday.

The Scottish Government pushed through the Act in a bid to get tough on sectarianism in the aftermath of the Old Firm 'shame game' in 2011. Holyrood introduced the legislation in January 2012.

A petition signed by more than 9000 people on online and paper forms objecting to the Act was handed to the Scottish Parliament's petitions' committee towards the end of last year.

The legislation gives police and prosecutors powers to tackle sectarian songs and abuse at and around football matches, as well as threats posted on the internet or through the mail.

It created two distinct offences, punishable through a range of penalties up to a maximum five years in prison and an unlimited fine.

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But many football fans believe it has needlessly criminalised supporters and that the police already had plenty of powers under existing laws to deal with any issues arising at a football match.

The Scottish Human Rights Commission has previously raised the "potential lack of legal certainty" over the Act as required by Articles six and seven of the ECHR during the legislation's formation.

 It highlighted European Court of Human Right cases which found: "An offence must be clearly defined in law. This condition is satisfied where the individual can know from the wording of the relevant provision and, if need be, with the assistance of the court's interpretation of it, what acts and omissions will make him liable.

SHRC also stressed the fundamental importance of the right to freedom of expression and the role of Parliament in ensuring that the restrictions on this right contained in the Bill met the tests of legality, legitimate aim and proportionality.

Almost half of all people taken to court in 2014 under the laws designed to stamp out sectarian abuse at football matches were acquitted, figures show.

But a YouGov survey, unveiled by the Scottish Government in June last year showed that 80 per cent of Scots support the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act.

The government-supported evaluation of the Act said there has been a "marked decline" in football-related criminal charges since its introduction four years ago. But the study says it is "impossible to determine" whether some, or any of these reductions are attributable directly to the Act.