EURO 2020 final: UK to ban online racists from football matches

Condemning the abuse hurled at three black players after the final, the PM added online racism to the list of offences for which fans can be barred from matches.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks on during the Euro 2020 soccer championship final between England and Italy at Wembley stadium in London.   -  AP

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced plans to ban anyone guilty of online racist abuse from attending football matches after three members of England national team were targeted following the side's loss in the European Championship final.

Johnson on Wednesday 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.

READ: EURO 2020 Final: UK Parliamentarians demand answers from FA over Wembley scenes

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

“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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