HOLYROOD'S opposition parties are to combine forces to oppose Scotland's controversial football laws in what has been billed as the first moves to repeal the legislation.

The Greens and Tories have both confirmed they will vote to scrap the Offensive Behaviour at Football at a symbolic debate at Parliament this week which could see the Government outnumbered by the opposition.

Greens' justice spokesman John Finnie described the legislation as discriminatory in only targeting football fans for sectarian and other offending behaviours while the Tories said the law was "unworkable" and "an utter shambles".

It comes as the Labour MSP behind moves the repeal the Act said three-quarters of respondents to his consultation supported its scrapping.

The survey on James Kelly's Members' Bill to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act attracted 3248 responses, with 71 per cent supporting its scrapping.

More than 60 per cent of respondents also back the repeal of laws governing threatening communications. Just short of a quarter were opposed to the repeal plans.

The results are at odds with a recent poll by the Scottish Government, which found 80 per cent of the public support the contentious legislation.

The Government also said "not one viable alternative" had been put forward during the ongoing debate about the effectiveness and workability of the legislation "to dealing with the unacceptable scenes of violence and abuse".

Mr Finnie said: "There is no place for sectarianism in Scottish football, however Scottish Greens believe that the football Act unnecessarily restricts freedom of expression and is not the most effective means of addressing these concerns.

"The issues of homophobia and transphobia also need tackled in football, but with a society-wide approach. Let's make legislation which treats everyone equal before the law, otherwise we're dealing with forms of discrimination by only targeting people who are football fans. This is an unhelpful approach and we'll be working with MSPs from all parties to ensure that the Act is repealed as quickly as possible."

Tory justice spokesman Douglas Ross said: “We voted against this back in 2011 because, quite simply, it’s a bad piece of legislation.

“Yet despite wide-ranging concerns, the SNP railroaded the legislation through and celebrated this utter shambles as a success.

“It’s high time the SNP read the writing on the wall and repealed this deeply unpopular and unnecessary piece of legislation.

“And as Wednesday’s motion will show, the Scottish Conservatives will work across the aisles to make sure this happens as a priority.”

Although not binding, the vote will be seen as an indicator ahead of Mr Kelly's formal submission of parliamentary bill to officially 'axe the act'.

The Act, which came into force in 2012, criminalised offensive and threatening behaviour, related to football matches and any communications containing threats or incitement to religious hatred.

Aimed largely at sectarian behaviour it has come in for much criticism as disproportionate, discriminatory and poorly drafted in what it defines as offensive. It has also been accused of damaging trust between football supporters and the police.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "Not one viable alternative to dealing with the unacceptable scenes of violence and abuse we continue to see at matches has been put forward in the entire debate around this law.

"This is not just about sectarianism or language that can be challenged by education programmes - two-thirds of charges under the law in 2015/16 were for threatening behaviour, including physical violence.

"After two full football seasons of the Act being in place, an independent evaluation found that the clear majority of fans condemn abusive behaviour towards people's religious beliefs."