Anyone who makes sectarian comments on Twitter could be put behind bars for up to five years, under new proposals unveiled on Friday by the Scottish government.
The Scottish government's plans follow attacks on Celtic manager Neil Lennon, his lawyer Paul McBride and the Celtic-supporting former MSP Trish Godman in March, when they were sent suspected letter bombs.
Social networking site Twitter has also been a source of conflict, and earlier this year 19-year-old Rangers Ladies player Lisa Swanson was forced to apologise following her remarks about Celtic and Lennon.
The Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill includes online hate crime, such as abusive or offensive comments posted on Twitter and any behaviour deemed to be threatening, abusive, disorderly or offensive, which both carry the maximum jail term.
Celtic's chief executive, Peter Lawwell has welcomed the proposals.
"The issues this legislation seeks to address are problems for society as a whole and not just football," he said.
"The type of behaviour intended to be covered by this legislation has no place anywhere in Scottish society."
Ministers hope the new laws, which would see the upper sentence for sectarian offences raised from six months to five years, could come into effect by the end of the month.
This has prompted some criticism of the bill, which the Law Society of Scotland say is being pushed through Parliament too quickly and the subsequent lack of scrutiny means any discrepancies in the legislation may not be found.
Bill McVicar, convener of the society's criminal law committee, said sectarianism must be tackled.
"This is a very serious issue and one that needs both attention and action from our political leaders," he said.
"However, it is because of the importance of this issue that the Scottish Government needs to allow adequate time to ensure the legislation can be properly scrutinised.
"It is particularly vital for sufficient time to be allowed at stage one, the evidence gathering stage, for proper public consultation."
But Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan has welcomed the wide-reaching bill.
He said: "In particular, we are pleased to see that it covers sectarian and other forms of unacceptable chanting and threatening behaviour.
"As we approach the start of a new season, it is important we look forward with anticipation and excitement. Football is this country's national sport and we all have a responsibility to ensure that entertainment replaces aggravation and that a family atmosphere is generated inside our grounds instead of a hostile one.
When the letter bomb plot was uncovered, Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said that sectarianism was a 'parasite' which needed to be eradicated.
It was the latest in a string of security incidents against Neil Lennon who said if it "was to escalate further then I would seriously have to reconsider my position".
The Celtic manager claims his background as a Catholic and a Northern Irishman at the club fuels plenty of the treatment he is subjected to.
"I never envisaged coming here would create such hatred for myself or my persona as it has done. I don't know what it is that brings the worst out in people when it comes to myself," he said.