As of today, those guilty of football-related online hate crimes could now be barred from attending matches after receiving a banning order.
Harsher penalties for online abuse involving race, sexuality or religion can now be requested by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) following the extension of football banning orders by Home Secretary Priti Patel back in January.
Douglas Mackay of the CPS said, "Football banning orders are one of the many tools available to the justice system for imposition on offenders who are convicted of crimes related to our national game."
"This new CPS legal guidance gives prosecutors wider authority to request banning orders from the courts. It is another consequence for those guilty of shameful behaviour.
"Over recent years and months hate crimes relating to sporting events have been on the rise. The recent internal UK Football Policing Unit mid-season report has shown a significant rise in football-related criminality compared to pre-pandemic levels.
"At the CPS, we play a crucial role in tackling these crimes and making our national sport inclusive and safe to watch. There is no place for hate in football. Hate crime can have a profound impact on victims."
Following the racial abuse of England players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka during last year’s Euro 2020 competition, the government pledged to ban people who committed online abuse from attending live matches for up to 10 years.
Last year a PFA-funded research project carried out by ethical data science company Signify found that there was a 48% increase in unmoderated racist online abuse in the second half of the 2020/21 football season, with 50% of abusive accounts coming from the UK.
Read the full report: Click here