Downing Street urges football authorities to toughen up on racism

Rudiger said he was targeted with monkey chants

Monday, December 23, 2019

Number 10 has warned the football authorities they must step up efforts to tackle racism following the latest incident at yesterday’s match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.

Spurs launched an investigation after Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger reported being targeted with monkey chants during the second half of the Premier League game at the Tottenham stadium.

Boris Johnson's official spokesman welcomed the inquiry but said it was clear more needed to be done within the sport to address the issue.

He said the government would be monitoring the response of the football authorities and was ready to take further steps “if required”.

The warning came after the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) issued a call for a government inquiry into “racism and the rise in hate crime within football”.

The Prime Minister's spokesman said: “Racism of any kind has no place in football or anywhere else and we must confront this vile behaviour.

“Clearly there remains more work to be done by the football authorities in tackling this issue and we are committed to working with them on this to stamp it out.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said anyone found guilty of a racially aggravated offence under the Public Order Act could face up to six months in prison and a 10-year ban from attending football matches.

“We fully expect the entire football community to work with the authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice so we can stamp this evil out of our national game,” she said.

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