A Brighton fan has received an eight-week prison sentence for using racist language in the match between the Seagulls and Tottenham Hotspur at the Amex Stadium in October.
The supporter who has been named as George Reynolds has also been banned for life by south coast club from all matches.
He is said to have used racially-aggravated language during the game and when confronted on his actions, reportedly made threats to those supporters who challenged him.
According to the Daily Mail, Sussex Police officers arrested Reynolds on suspicion of using racially aggravated language with the intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress; and using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.
Reynold appeared before Brighton Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to both offences.
Brighton’s chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber has welcomed the verdict and said that he hopes it will be a watershed moment for the club.
He told Sky Sports: “We welcome the verdict. There is no excuse for racism in any form, either inside a football stadium or anywhere in society. We have a zero-tolerance policy on racism and the individual will also be subject to a life ban from all of our fixtures, premises and events.
“We take no pleasure in imposing bans on supporters but we have made it very clear on numerous occasions that we have zero tolerance for any kind of discriminatory behaviour, and the sanctions we impose will be commensurate with what is totally unacceptable behaviour.
“As Sussex Police have said in their statement, alcohol played a part in Mr Reynolds’ actions but this is not an excuse as it is also a criminal offence to be intoxicated inside a football stadium. And, despite other fans’ objecting to and ultimately reporting his behaviour, Mr Reynolds persisted.
“Looking forward, I hope that Mr Reynolds’ conviction is a watershed moment, at least for our club. There is no place for racist or discriminatory behaviour in our society, let alone in this or any other football stadium. Put simply, we don’t want to witness it here or anywhere else again.
“On behalf of everyone at the club, I would like to thank those supporters who provided the club and Sussex Police with witness statements. It is extremely heartening to know that we can count on your support to help rid our game and society of such abhorrent behaviour.”
Spurs Web Opinion
One can only applaud the action taken by the authorities and Brighton football club in dealing with the incident effectively. We need to ensure that the few idiots who engage in behaviour like this in football grounds up and down the country continue to be punished.
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