Over a million people have signed a petition to ban racists from football matches

Over a million people have signed a petition to ban racists from football matches

Over a million people have signed a petition to ban racists from football matches in England for life.

The petition, which was started by three fans, calls on the umbrella group the Football Association, as well as prime minister Boris Johnson and culture secretary Oliver Dowden, to ban people who have expressed racism online and offline from attending matches. It has racked up huge support in just 24 hours.

It reads: “After last night’s match, vile racist abuse was directed at our heroic players Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho.

“As multi-racial football fans, we finally feel represented by this anti-racist and inclusive England team. We could not be more proud or inspired by our magnificent team and by their talent, bravery, leadership and love for all.

“There should be no room for racists and bigotry in football or society.

“We are calling for the Football Association and the government to work together now to ban all those who have carried out racist abuse, online or offline, from all football matches in England for life.”

It comes after black English players Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho received a torrent of racist abuse following the Euro 2020 final in which they missed penalties during a tense shootout, leading in part to Italy’s victory.

A mural honouring Rashford was defaced in Manchester and the players received social media abuse, causing politicians and public figures – including Johnson and Gary Lineker – to speak out against it and back the players, despite some like Priti Patel previously stating that taking the knee to support racial equality was “gesture politics”.

Commenting on the petition, one signatory said they were “sick of a minority of English people dragging the name of the country though the dirt with their disgusting actions”.

Another wrote: “Racist are not fans they are racists. Make it safe for our young players and make the game safe for families again.”

Others shared the petition on social media to encourage others to sign it:

Petitions that receive more than 100,000 signatures on the official government petitions website are debated in parliament. While this petition is on external campaign’s site, the number of people that have signed it mean it could well get Johnson’s attention.

The petition was created by football fans Shaista Aziz, Amna Abdullatif and Huda Jawad, who call themselves The Three Hijabis due to their heritage and dress.

“To go over one million… we feel validated in our resistance to racism and that what we have been able to articulate is the sentiment that is held nationwide,” Ms Jawad, one of the woman responsible for the petition told the PA news agency.

“This is not our petition – this is the nation speaking and saying this is not okay and enough is enough.”

Ms Abdullatif added: “This is all on us, we all have a role to play, we can all make a difference… if you don’t make that change, nothing will change for the greater good.”

The petition adds: “Our England team stood up for all of us - now we must stand up for them.”

Too right.

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