Football banning orders will be expanded to include online racist abuse, according to the Prime Minister.
The nation has been united in condemnation of the racist abuse suffered by England players after Sunday’s game against Italy.
Boris Johnson announced the move at today’s Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) following questions from Labour leader Keir Starmer about his personal record on racism.
How do banning orders work?
Banning orders can be used to prevent people from attending all regulated football games in the UK for up to ten years.
Currently they can be issued by a magistrate in cases of violent or public order offences, but not online abuse.
Those with banning orders applied to them can also be prevented from travelling abroad for matches.
Young England stars Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka faced a deluge of racist abuse on Instagram on social media after missing penalties in the Euros final against Italy.
Since then, the players have received an outpouring of public support, while the abuse has been condemned and a number of arrests have been made
While both Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel have spoken out about the abuse, both have been criticised for failing to condemn those who booed England players for protesting against racism.
'Giving racism the green light'
Addressing Johnson at PMQs, Keir Starmer said: “Why will the Prime Minister refuse time and time again – even now – to condemn those who boo our players for standing up against racism?”
“What is it that this England team symbolises that this Conservative Party is so afraid of?”
“Far from giving racism the red card, the Prime Minister gave it the green light.”
Boris Johnson said: “I repeat that I utterly condemn and abhor the racist outpourings that we saw on Sunday night, and so what we’re doing today is taking practical steps to ensure that the football banning order regime is changed, so that if you are guilty of racist abuse online of footballers, then you will not be going to the match, no ifs, no buts, no exemptions and no excuses.”
After England players faced racist abuse on social media, Home Secretary Priti Patel Tweeted: “I am disgusted that England players who have given so much for our country this summer have been subject to vile racist abuse on social media.
“It has no place in our country and I back the police to hold those responsible accountable.”
Tyrone Mings, England and Aston Villa defender, responded to Patel’s Tweet, saying: “You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’ & then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens.”