Football fans should be banned from games for homophobia - MPs

Posted On: 
12th February 2017

Football fans responsible for homophobic abuse at matches should face bans of up to two years, a committee of MPs has said.

Rainbow laces are a campaign symbol for ending homophobia in sport
PA Images

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee called for the “zero tolerance” approach to homophobic abuse at all levels of all sports - but it said attitudes were particularly bad in the footballing world.

In a new report it noted that no professional players in British football were openly gay and said more should be done to support athletes who want to come out.

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Committee chair Damian Collins said: "From the evidence we have received in this inquiry, we believe there are many gay athletes who have not come out, because they are frightened of the impact this decision will have on their careers, and the lives of the people they love.

"That is not acceptable and should not be tolerated."

The committee said its report was prompted in part by the inclusion of boxer Tyson Fury in the 2015 BBC Sports Personality of the Year contest - despite his homophobic remarks.

But a BBC spokesperson insisted Mr Fury was shortlisted for his “sporting achievement in being crowned world heavyweight champion” alone.