McCoist 'won't attend' Old Firm after claiming he would breach hate crime law

The former Rangers player and manager had 'guaranteed' he would be breaking the new law during Sunday's Old Firm clash.

McCoist won’t attend Sunday’s Rangers v Celtic Old Firm at Ibrox after claims he would breach hate crime law SNS Group

Ally McCoist has said he has had a “change of plans” and will not be in attendance at Sunday’s Old Firm after previously claiming he would be “breaching the hate crime law” at the match.

The Hate Crime and Public Order Act – which came into force on Monday – takes the current law against the stirring up of racial hatred and extends that protection to other groups.

The former Rangers player and manager questioned the new legislation on Tuesday – and “guaranteed” that he and thousands of others would be “committing a breach” during Sunday’s crucial Old Firm showdown at Ibrox.

“I can guarantee you, next Sunday at Ibrox, I, along with 48,000 will be committing a breach of that hate bill in the particular Rangers vs Celtic game we are all going to. It is madness”, he said.

However, the TalkSPORT host appears to have changed his plans following his remarks – and has now revealed he won’t be in attendance at Ibrox.

When asked if he was going to the game, he replied: “No, I’m away with the kids for a couple of days.

“People are accusing me of going to break this act, and I’m not even going to be at the game.

“I thought I would be, but there’s been a change of plans, I’m away for a couple of days.

“But a few of my older boys will be there, and I’ll be watching it.”

The pundit was not alone in remarking on the controversial new legislation.

One of the main critics of the law, JK Rowling, appeared to challenge police to “arrest her” if her controversial social media posts break the new laws.

On Tuesday, Police Scotland confirmed it had received complaints about a social media post from the Harry Potter author – but that no action would be taken.

“The comments are not assessed to be criminal,” a spokesperson said.

Responding to the announcement, Rowling said: “I hope every woman in Scotland who wishes to speak up for the reality and importance of biological sex will be reassured by this announcement, and I trust that all women – irrespective of profile or financial means – will be treated equally under the law.”

First Minister Humza Yousaf has defended the new act, and said it guards people from a “rising tide of hatred”.

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