Plans to ban racist fans who troll footballers from matches for up to 10 years

·1-min read

Racist football fans who troll players will be banned from matches in England and Wales for up to 10 years under Government plans for new laws.

Home Secretary Priti Patel wants to extend the scope of football banning orders, which can already be imposed on people convicted of violence, disorder and racist or homophobic chanting, to also cover online hate offences.

The move, first announced last year, comes after England footballers Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were subject to racist abuse after missing penalties in last summer’s Euro 2020 final.

Priti Patel
Priti Patel (Aaron Chown/PA)

The law is expected to be introduced as an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

Ms Patel said: “This summer we saw the beautiful game marred by disgraceful racism from online trolls, who hid behind their keyboards and abused our footballers.

“Racism is unacceptable and for too long football has been marred by this shameful prejudice.

“Those responsible for appalling racist abuse online must be punished. The changes to the law I am announcing will make sure they are banned from attending football matches.”

Football banning orders bar the individual from going to regulated football matches for 3 to 10 years. There are 1,359 orders in force across England and Wales, according to the latest Home Office figures.

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