Banning football stadiums for racist online trolls to be considered by Scottish Government

The Scottish Government will “carefully consider” whether a new law banning racist online trolls from football stadiums in England and Wales should be replicated north of the border.

Racist language and other football-related online abuse could see offenders banned from attending matches for up to 10 years, in new legislation introduced by Home Secretary Priti Patel.

The move comes after black players in the England football team faced shameful racism after the Euro 2020 final

Football banning orders, which can currently be imposed on those convicted of violence, disorder and racist or homophobic chanting, will be extended to online hate crimes.

Scotland has passed legislation of a similar nature in the past, called the Offensive Behavior at Football Act, which came into force in 2012, as the SNP government aimed to crack down on bigotry.

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The “threatening communications” section of the law generally covered online and social media abuse.

Bit it was repealed in 2018.

Opposition parties have argued for it to be removed, saying it unfairly targets football fans and has failed to address the issue.

The drive to repeal the Bill was led in parliament by Labor MP James Kelly, who said he was “delighted” to see the end of “the worst legislation in the history of the Scottish Parliament”.

Football banning orders in Scotland can currently last up to ten years as well.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: ‘The abuse of anyone on social media is completely unacceptable – and that includes abuse of anyone because of whom they might be playing football or the football team that he could support.

“We are working with football authorities, major clubs and other partners to consider what more can be done to tackle unacceptable behaviour.

“While the focus is on behavior in and around the pitches, online abuse must also be condemned.

“We will carefully consider the UK Government’s proposals and determine whether they should be replicated in Scotland.”

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