UK to ban online racists from games after Euro 2020 uproar

Boris Johnson condemned the abuse leveled at three Black players after they failed to score penalties in England’s shootout defeat to Italy on Sunday at Wembley Stadium

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U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced plans to ban anyone guilty of online racist abuse from attending soccer matches after three members of England’s national team were targeted following its loss in the European Championship final.

Johnson on Wednesday condemned the abuse leveled at three Black players, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, after they failed to score penalties in England’s shootout defeat to Italy on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.

And Johnson told the House of Commons it was time to act. The government plans to add online racism to the list of offenses for which fans can be barred from matches, he said.

England’s manager Gareth Southgate embraces Bukayo Saka after he failed to score a penalty during a penalty shootout after extra time during of the Euro 2020 soccer championship final match between England and Italy at Wembley stadium in London, Sunday, July 11, 2021. (Carl Recine/Pool Photo via AP)

“What we are doing is taking practical steps to ensure that the football banning regime is changed so that if you are guilty of racist abuse online on football, then you will not be going to the match,” Johnson said during his weekly prime minister’s questions session. “No ifs, no buts, no exemptions, no excuses.”

Courts are allowed to issue banning orders if a fan is convicted of a “relevant offence” linked to a match, including crimes such as disorderly behavior or possession of weapons.

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