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Boris Johnson Announces Ban On Online Racists Attending Football Games

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Boris Johnson Announces Ban On Online Racists Attending Football Games

Boris Johnson has announced a ban on attending football matches for anyone caught posting racial abuse online, closing up an existing loophole in the rule.

Speaking in the House of Commons, 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."

Johnson announced the new rules after England football players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka were subjected to horrific racial abuse after missing penalties during the Three Lions' shootout loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.

The bill will also hit technology companies that do not act to remove harmful, racist, or illegal content from their platforms, with fines extending to up to 10 percent of their annual turnover.

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However, the legislation has been delayed for a long time, and it's not clear when the bill will finally come into force.

Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho, and Raheem Sterling have all experiences racism during their careers. Credit: PA
Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho, and Raheem Sterling have all experiences racism during their careers. Credit: PA

Johnson under some harsh pressure from the Leader of the Opposition Sir Keir Starmer, who urged the Prime Minister to act so that abuse suffered by the young England players does not occur again.

Starmer reserved specific criticism for Priti Patel, who defended the decision of some supporters to boo England taking a knee as a statement against racism and described their actions as 'gesture politics'.

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The Labour Party leader said: "She's got this wrong, the whole county knows that, his own MPs know it."

The racism abuse against England's players has been widely condemned. Credit: PA
The racism abuse against England's players has been widely condemned. Credit: PA

However, Johnson said he was not responsible for 'stoking racism' and added: "I don't want to engage in a political culture war of any kind."

After the abuse, Rashford said he would 'never apologise for who I am', despite a mural bearing his image in Manchester being defaced with offensive language.

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The Manchester United forward wrote: ""I've grown into a sport where I expected to read things written about myself.

"Whether it be the colour of my skin, where I grew up, or, most recently, how I decide to spend my time off the pitch.

"I can take critique of my performance all day long, my penalty was not good enough, it should have gone in but I will never apologise for who I am and where I came from.

"I've felt no prouder moment than wearing those three lions on my chest and seeing my family cheer me on in a crowd of tens of thousands."

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The mural of Marcus Rashford in Withington has now been flooded with messages of support. Credit: PA
The mural of Marcus Rashford in Withington has now been flooded with messages of support. Credit: PA

"I dreamt of days like this. The messages I've received today have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears.

"The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up.

"I'm Marcus Rashford, 23-year-old black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester.

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"If I have nothing else I have that. For all the kind messages thank you. I'll be back stronger. We'll be back stronger."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, Football, Euro 2020, England, Marcus Rashford, Boris Johnson, Politics, Italy

Tom Wood
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