Boris Johnson Says Soccer Fans Being Racist Online Will Be Banned From Games
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Wednesday “practical steps” towards banning soccer fans who express racist views online from attending games.
“[I]f you were guilty … of racist abuse online of footballers then you will not be going to the match, no ifs, no buts, no exceptions and no excuses,” Johnson told parliament.
“No if’s, no but’s, no exceptions and no excuses.”
Boris Johnson confirms that those who are found guilty of online racist abuse will be banned from going to football matches pic.twitter.com/vEOsDKpYgA
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) July 14, 2021
“I do think that racism is a problem in the United Kingdom, and I believe it needs to be tackled, and it needs to be stamped out with some of the means that I’ve described this morning,” Johnson said Wednesday.
The prime minister added that he had met with representatives of Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat, warning them of “fines amounting to 10% of their global revenues” for failure to remove racist and hateful content off their platforms, Reuters reported.
Johnson and UK Home Secretary Priti Patel have come under criticism for their previous comments that dismissed kneeling of soccer players as “gesture politics” and politicization of the sport, according to Reuters.
The online abuse primarily targeted three black players on England’s soccer team who had missed their penalty kicks in the final game against Italy, leading to a loss for England, according to NPR. (RELATED: Massive Brawl Breaks Out Among Fans During England Vs. Italy Soccer Game)
Johnson claimed that he has always opposed abuse of the players, but also defended Patel, who he said had faced similar issues, Reuters reported.