PM's plan to ban football racists from matches branded 'grandstanding, but good start'

15 July 2021, 07:29 | Updated: 15 July 2021, 21:03

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Former West Brom player Brendon Batson says the PM's plans to ban online racists from football matches is a good start, but fears enforcement may be an issue.

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast the former footballer said Boris Johnson's plans were "grandstanding," but a good start.

On Wednesday Boris Johnson announced plans to change Football banning Orders, in the wake of horrific messages being sent to England players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka after they missed penalties in the Euro 2020 final shoot-out defeat to Italy on Sunday.

Johnson told Labour leader Keir Starmer at Prime Minister's Questions that those found guilty of racist online abuse "will not be going to the match, no ifs, no buts, no exemptions and no excuses".

But Mr Batson said anything that was proposed was a good start, but he feared social media companies "don't give a damn," which could make enforcement difficult.

Banning orders allow magistrates to prohibit individuals from attending all regulated matches in the UK if they are convicted of relevant offences.

While they may also be required to surrender their passport before overseas matches and tournaments, the legislation does not currently cover online incidents.

The orders can last between three and 10 years and are believed to be largely handed out for violent and public disorder offences.