Football-related racism and online abuse could bar offenders from attending matches in England and Wales for up to 10 years.
Home Secretary Priti Patel introduces legislation so that football ban orders, which can currently be imposed on those found guilty of violence, disorder and racist or homophobic chanting, are extended to cover offenses hate online.
The move comes after some of England’s black players faced racist abuse following the Euro 2020 final over the summer, with the Prime Minister pledging to take firm action against them. online aggressors.
The new law is expected to take the form of an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill and will be introduced early in the new year.
“This summer we have seen the beautiful game marred with shameful racism from online trolls, who hid behind their keyboards and abused our footballers,” said the Home Secretary.
“Racism is unacceptable and football has been marred by this shameful prejudice for too long.
“Those responsible for appalling racist abuse online must be punished. The changes to the law I am announcing will ensure that they will be banned from attending football matches.”
There are currently 1,300 football ban orders in force in England and Wales, banning individuals from attending regulated football matches for three to 10 years.
They are issued either following a conviction for a football-related offense or following a complaint lodged by a local police force, the British Transport Police or the Crown Prosecution Service.
These agencies can ask the court to make an order against someone who has at any time caused or contributed to football-related violence or disturbance, whether in the UK or elsewhere.
Violation of a football ban order is a criminal offense and carries a maximum penalty of six months in prison, an unlimited fine, or both. In addition, another order may be imposed.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: âThe racist abuse that floods footballers’ social media feeds all hours of the day is having a profound impact on everyone involved in the game and it must stop.
âWe are fighting this heinous behavior in all its forms. In addition to banning racist games, we are introducing groundbreaking new laws to eliminate online abuse and ensure tech companies tackle hate on their sites. “
Shadow Sports Minister Lord Bassam said: “I am very happy that the government is finally taking action against this kind of disgusting online abuse. But it is not too soon as we have proposed to ‘add this to the police bill over a month ago.
“The prohibition order regime should also be extended to other sports.”
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