Scottish parliament channels criminal cash into cup soccer

Scotland's parliament has agreed to inject US$1.6 million into soccer, with a government initiative becoming the title sponsor of next season's Scottish League Cup.

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Scotland’s parliament has agreed to inject US$1.6 million into soccer, with a government initiative becoming the title sponsor of next season’s Scottish League Cup.

The one-year deal sees Scottish Football League (SFL) competition officially known as the Scottish Communities League Cup during the 2011/12 season. It will be funded by money seized from criminal activities, something that is possible in the UK under the terms of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

This arrangement is part of a wider Scottish Government programme, Cashback for Communities, which has seen US$65.5 million invested into Scottish community projects since 2007 with the aim of increasing young people’s opportunities to get involved in sport and physical activities.

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond said: “We have invested over UK£40 million of crooks’ cash over the past four years in improving facilities and running community projects that simply would not have existed otherwise. During that time more than half a million young people have taken part in Cashback activities – who knows, Scotland’s future football stars could well be unearthed as a result of this significant investment.

“I am very confident that this relationship between the Scottish Government and the SFL will be extremely positive and constructive as we promote and highlight key messages to fans and families throughout Scotland.”

As part of the sponsorship deal, Scottish clubs, players and coaches will establish links with government-backed activities in each team’s local community.

The new deal draws to a close the League Cup’s previous sponsorship with Co-operative Insurance (CIS), who had been tournament sponsors since the 1999/2000 season. Scottish Communities is the fifth title sponsor in the tournament’s history following Bells, Skol, Coca-Cola and CIS.

David Longmuir, chief executive of the SFL, added: “This new partnership will build on the tremendous community legacy that has been achieved with our previous sponsors CIS and takes the new Scottish Communities League Cup forward into an exciting phase.

“The SFL and Scottish football will now work closely with the Scottish Government to make sure we deliver an exciting and engaging programme of activity around the competition, which we hope will inspire the nation.”

1 year 1600000 1600000 Scottish League Cup- Scottish Government