The IFA has tried manfully to stamp out sectarianism at local football grounds. Everyone recognises that is a difficult task, given that it is a blight which exists in society at large. But the behaviour of some fans at the Linfield/Cliftonville match on Tuesday night went beyond what can be accepted.
The football authorities must make it clear that it will take punitive action to rid the game of this problem. That could mean the docking of points from the club of offending fans, the abandonment of matches or even the closure of grounds. The fans must learn that their behaviour can hurt their club as well as damage the image of the game.