Football banning orders of up to 10 years for online racism or abuse connected to football under proposed new law | Football News

Online racism and football-related abuse could see offenders banned from attending matches in England and Wales for up to 10 years.

Interior Minister Priti Patel is introducing legislation so that football ban orders, which currently can be imposed on people convicted of violence, riots and racist or homophobic chanting, will be extended to cover hate crimes online.

The move comes after some of England’s black players were subjected to racist abuse following the Euro 2020 final over the summer, with the Prime Minister pledging to take decisive action against online abusers.

The new law is expected to take the form of an amendment to the law on police, crime, conviction and courts and will be presented at the beginning of the new year.

“This summer we saw the beautiful game marred by the shameful racism of online trolls, who hid behind their keyboards and abused our players,” said the interior minister.

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

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Kick It Out President Sanjay Bhandari told Sky Sports News earlier this week that it is important that harsh penalties are imposed on those found guilty of hate crimes.

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

There are currently 1,300 football ban orders in England and Wales, which prohibit people from going to regulated football matches for three to 10 years.

They are issued following a conviction for a football-related offense or following a report by a local police force, the British Transport Police or the Crown Prosecution Service.

These agencies can apply to the court to issue an order against a person who at any time has caused or contributed to football-related violence or unrest, in the UK or elsewhere.

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Former Leicester captain Wes Morgan discusses racism and the problem of social media abuse

Violating a football ban is a criminal offense and is punishable by a maximum prison sentence of six months, an unlimited fine or both. In addition, a further decree may be imposed.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “The racist abuse that floods footballers’ social media feeds at all hours of the day has a profound impact on everyone involved in the game and must stop.

“We are addressing this loathsome behavior in all forms. In addition to banning racists from gaming, we are introducing groundbreaking new laws to eliminate online abuse and make sure tech companies tackle hatred on their sites.”

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Kick It Out is the football organization for equality and inclusion, working in the fields of football, education and the community to combat discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and promote positive change.

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