JUSTICE Secretary Humza Yousaf is to be grilled today on why SNP ministers agreed to keep a haul of data on sectarianism in Scottish football a secret.

The Herald on Sunday revealed the government is withholding two years of data on “unacceptable conduct” at grounds on the basis of confidentiality.

The information was shared with ministers by the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL).

Despite relating to public events and having the potential to inform public debate, ministers won’t release the information to the public as they agreed in advance to keep it secret.

READ MORE: SNP Government in secrecy row over football sectarianism report

LibDem MSP Liam McArthur, who secured an emergency question on the issue at Holyrood, said secrecy clauses in the agreement between ministers, the police and SPFL should be “”torn up” and the data released.

He said: “We’re told that there is two years worth of data monitoring the levels of sectarianism at football. However, under the arrangement devised by the Scottish Government and SPFL, nobody is allowed to see it.

“A government-commissioned independent expert review said this information should be recorded and made public so that there could be an informed debate. Instead, these sectarianism figures are currently locked away at SPFL, government and police headquarters.

“I’m glad the Cabinet Secretary is being brought before Parliament to explain how the government got themselves into this situation. Why did the Scottish Government entrust the football authorities to collate this information if, in exchange, it is bound to keep it secret?”

The Government said its “strong preference” was for the SPFL to make the data publicly available, as it was “provided to us on the condition that it was in confidence”.

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A spokesperson said: “That followed discussions between the Scottish Government, Scottish FA, SPFL, Police Scotland and other stakeholders, where the football authorities agreed to collate data on unacceptable conduct in Scottish football for the first time from the start of the 2017-18 season – but on the condition that it remained confidential.”