Boris Johnson has announced that online racists will be banned from football matches in the wake of abuse aimed at England stars.
England trio, Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho, and Marcus Rashford were targeted with sickening racial abuse following Sunday’s Euros final defeat after they missed penalty shootout against Italy at Wembley.
On Wednesday, the Prime Minister told MPs that the government is toughening up the football banning order regime as he clashed with Keir Starmer over his stance on the national team ‘taking the knee’ before matches.
“You will not be going to the match – no ifs, no buts,” the prime minister told abusive supporters, in the Commons, after pressure from Labour to adopt the move.
The commitment came as Mr. Johnson defended Priti Patel, his home secretary, for defending fans’ right to boo England players taking the knee at the start of matches.
But Keir Starmer told him: “She’s got this wrong, the whole county knows that, his own MPs know it.”
Mr Johnson replied: ‘I repeat that I utterly condemn and abhor the racist outpourings that we saw on Sunday night, and so what we’re doing is 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.’
One government insider told MailOnline that the tone from ministers on ‘taking the knee’ needed to shift because public views had.
‘The dial has moved. If you look at the polls you can see that. The England players have redefined taking the knee,’ they said.
In a stormy session of PMQs, Sir Keir said: ‘Does the Prime Minister think that it was wrong to criticise the England team’s decision to oppose racism by taking the knee as gesture politics?’
He added: ‘Can he tell the House, does he now regret failing to condemn those who booed England players for standing up to racism – yes or no?’
Mr. Johnson replied: ‘We made it absolutely clear that no-one should boo the England team.
‘In addition to changing the football banning order regime, last night I met representatives of Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, and I made it absolutely clear to them that we will legislate to address this problem in the Online Harms Bill.
‘And unless they get hate and racism off their platforms they will face fines amounting to 10 percent of their global revenues – we all know they have the technology to do it.’