Retailer HMV has withdrawn anti-English World Cup banners, following complaints to police that they could incite racial hatred.
Record chain HMV has removed items with the letters ABE – which stands for Anyone But England – from window displays in its Scottish stores.
It follows a number of objections from the public to the company, as well as a complaint to the police from the Campaign for an English Parliament (CEP).
A police officer visited an HMV store in Kirkcaldy constituency earlier this week and company bosses quickly agreed to remove the banners from all their stores north of the Border.
Now HMV said it was no longer actively promoting the ABE goods, including T-shirts, through banners and displays, and that it would stop selling them once stocks had been sold. [they will hardly have chance to
restock, England don't look like lasting long]
Stuart Parr, a member of the CEP's national council whinged: The Campaign for an English Parliament will challenge any company that incites racial hatred towards the English, he said. Racism is unacceptable no matter who it is directed
against, including English people.
But Tam Ferry, from the Association of Tartan Army Clubs, said: This is just political correctness gone mad again: I have got one of the T-shirts, and I think it's great that HMV were putting up banners.
Football is all about rivalry and having a bit of banter. Have the police got nothing better to do than take away a bit of fun from people? There's bigger problems in this country that they should be dealing with rather than this.
Trevor Phillips, head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has described the ABE slogan as good-natured banter that was unlikely to cause offence .
Aberdeen North SNP MSP Brian Adam said: I would have thought that it's all light-hearted and not in any way serious. If people take offence, they should remember that we have to put up with a lot of images about Scotland, such as the ones about
mean and miserable Scots. Also, people in Scotland might take exception to having goods promoted with images of the English team on and the English flag. The whole thing will be over soon and people should just get a sense of humour.
A spokeswoman for Fife Constabulary said: We received a complaint on Monday 14 June, regarding the Anyone But England banners. An officer attended the HMV store in Kirkcaldy and spoke to the manager there to make him aware of the complaint and
to give advice. Ultimately, it was HMV's decision to remove the banners.