Chelsea fan banned for three years after making racist gesture at Tottenham star Son Heung-Min

3 March 2023, 16:46

A Chelsea fan has been fined for racially abusing Son
A Chelsea fan has been fined for racially abusing Son. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

A Chelsea fan has been handed a stadium ban after racially abusing Tottenham player Son Heung-Min.

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Thomas Burchell, 30, of The Glade in Croydon, performed a racist gesture at the forward as he went to take a corner during a 2-2 draw between the two sides at Stamford Bridge in August last year.

Chelsea worked out that Burchell made the abusive gesture after photos of the incident were shared on social media and reported to Kick it Out, a group working to tackle racism in football.

Burchell was charged with a racially aggravated public order offence, which he admitted when police confronted him with the evidence.

He was fined £726 at the City of London Magistrates' Court. The CPS said the fine was increased because the offence was racially aggravated.

Son Heung-Min playing against Chelsea in August
Son Heung-Min playing against Chelsea in August. Picture: Getty

Burchell was also issued with an order banning him from attending live football games for three years.

After the sentencing, senior crown prosecutor Kalsoom Shah said: "Football is a passionate sport but racist abuse will never be allowed to mar the game.

Read more: Chelsea’s new £88m signing Mykhailo Mudryk apologises after using the N-word in TikTok video for fans

"We know people who are responsible for these actions are part of a small minority and we will continue to encourage anyone who sees or experiences this kind of behaviour to report it to the police and help us rid football of racism.

"Burchell's offensive gesture means that he can longer see his team play live."

Football white paper regulations

Lionel Idan, the chief crown prosecutor for London South and national hate crime lead, said "all forms of hate crime will not be tolerated whether within or outside a football ground".

He said prosecutors will "not hesitate to take people to court and seek harsher sentences so that justice is served" in cases where legal tests show it is merited.

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He said: "Racist gestures and abuse are not just hurtful, they prevent other fans and players from enjoying the sport and cause real damage to the heart of the game.

"The CPS continues to play a crucial role in tackling such crimes and making our national game inclusive and safe for all to watch and play."

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