LONDON – British sports minister Mims Davies has said she plans to meet with football authorities following recent incidents of racist chanting and abuse at major matches.
Davies, speaking in the House of Commons on Monday, said she planned to hold talks in the coming weeks with England’s governing Football Association, Premier League and English Football League.
Campaign groups including Kick it Out and Stonewall will also be invited to discuss what else can be done to clamp down on racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic abuse at matches.
In December, Chelsea suspended four people from their Stamford Bridge ground in west London pending a police investigation into alleged racial abuse of Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling during City’s 2-0 defeat in a Premier League match.
The same month saw a Tottenham Hotspur fan fined by a court for throwing a banana skin at Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Meanwhile the FA are investigating alleged racist chanting by some Millwall supporters during their 3-2 victory over Everton in the FA Cup last month.
“Those involved in abuse are not football fans, they are using football as a cloak for discriminatory, and often criminal, behaviour, and they are not welcome in our stadiums,” said Davies.
“Together we must find a way to tackle this. I will be bringing together the football authorities and other organisations with an interest, in the coming weeks, to agree what action must be taken to stamp out all forms of discrimination at sports events.”
Agence France-Presse (AFP)