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British PM, Boris Johnson talks tough, says racists abusers will be banned from football stadiums

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Boris Johnson has promised to ban people guilty of sending racist abuse to footballers from attending matches.

The prime minister said he would ensure the “football banning order regime is changed” to crack down on racism.

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Labour has been calling for the law to be changed after England players were subject to abuse on social media.

But Sir Keir Starmer said the PM’s promise to take action “rings hollow” after his previous refusal to condemn fans who booed players taking the knee.

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An online petition calling for the FA and the government to ban those who have carried out racist abuse to be banned for life has reached over a million signatures.

The prime minister said: “What we are doing is taking practical steps…so that if you are guilty of racist abuse online on football, then you will not be going to the match. No ifs, no buts, no exemptions, no excuses.”

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A football banning order is used to ban someone from attending matches for a set period of time, and can be imposed for offences such as throwing missiles onto the playing area or into the crowd, and racist or indecent chanting at a match.

Downing Street says there will be a 12 week consultation on changing banning orders to include online abuse offences. The government wants the changes to happen “as swiftly as possible” but has not given a precise timetable.

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It comes as a 37-year-old man was arrested by Greater Manchester Police over social media posts directed at England football players after the Euro 2020 final.

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