Tuesday 13 July 2021 / 10:30 PM Jo Stevens / Sport

Labour calls for government to ban perpetrators of online racist abuse from football grounds

Labour is calling on the Government to use the upcoming Online Safety Bill to give courts the power to ban anyone convicted of racist abuse online from attending football matches.

Currently, Football Banning Orders do not cover offences that take place online. The Labour Party is calling for this to change so that online abuse is treated in the same way as racism shouted from the terraces.

Labour has criticised the Government for refusing to back England players’ stance against racism and resisting a crackdown on social media companies who fail to tackle hatred on their platforms.

As well as the extension of Football Banning Orders, the party has called for the much-delayed Bill to:

  • take strong action against anonymous abuse.
  • introduce criminal sanctions for senior tech executives for repeated failure to enforce the rules.
  • introduce and enforce strong sanctions against those who carry out the abuse in the first place.

Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jo Stevens, said:

“The racists who have been abusing England players online should be banned from football grounds. They do not deserve to be anywhere near a game of football.

“We need urgent action to tackle online abuse but the reality is that the Government’s Online Safety Bill will not stop racist abuse online.

“Labour would ensure that online abuse is treated in the same way as racism directed at players from the terraces is, so that these racists are brought to justice and banned from grounds.”