Football hate crime can be punished with stadium bans, says UK criminal prosecution body

June 30 – Fans convicted of football-related online hate crime can now be banned from attending matches in the UK, Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service has announced.

British courts could previously only issue so-called football banning orders for in-person offences.

A 2021 Professional Footballers Association study found 44% of Premier League players received abuse online and last summer, the government promised to ban those who abuse footballers online for up to 10 years.

It followed England players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka being racially abused following the Euro 2020 final defeat by Italy.

The CPS said it would now be able to ask courts for tougher penalties for supporters “intent on hateful conduct”, including racist abuse.

“The new legal provisions will allow banning orders to be made for abuse involving racial or other hateful hostility which occurs online,” the CPS said in a statement.

The CPS said football-related hate crimes had been on the rise in recent years.

“There is no place for hate in football. Hate crime can have a profound impact on victims,” it said.

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