The Premier League is set to introduce enhanced anti-discrimination measures in a bid to rid the game and society of discrimination of any form.
The new diktat will be introduced immediately and Premier League clubs have agreed to enforce league-wide punishments, including stadium bans for any individual to have been found to have behaved in a discriminatory or abusive way towards any club employee, player, match official, matchday steward or supporters attending a Premier League match.
Currently, a fan could be banned from attending one stadium but free to enter the remaining 19 Premier League grounds, this will no longer be the case with the league agreeing universal measures as they up their fight against discrimination.
The measures will include online activity as well as behaviour conducted in-person. Sanctions include permanent bans from attending not just league matches at the stadium of the club they support but all Premier League matches.
The move is one that West Ham welcome with the club at the forefront of the campaign to introduce the measures.
The Hammers attempted to bring in similar measures across all the Premier League London stadiums in the form of a London Charter and have now seen their idea adopted universally.
The Premier League are introducing the league-wide punishments as part of series of efforts to make the game more inclusive. Alongside the punishments, the Premier League have vowed to investigate every reported incident of discriminatory abuse aimed at players, managers and their families and will take legal action where appropriate regardless of the offender’s location.
Stewards at all clubs are set to receive enhanced training to help them identify and respond to discriminatory abuse and in gathering evidence of such incidents. The league have also committed to funding education to supporters around the impact of discriminatory behaviour in a bid to make the game a more welcoming and inclusive place.
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters called on fans to support the initiative and to report abuse whenever they see it: “The commitment from all clubs to enforce league-wide bans demonstrates there is no place for discrimination of any kind in football and we will continue to work together to fight all forms of prejudice,” Masters said.
“Football is a diverse sport, which brings together communities from all backgrounds. We call on fans to come together with us and our clubs to help tackle discrimination by challenging and reporting abuse wherever they see it.
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Masters added: “Tackling online abuse is a priority for football and the Premier League continues to work with its clubs and partners across the game to challenge social media companies and authorities to take greater preventative measures to stop this abuse occurring.
“As part of this work, the Premier League is working with social media platforms to improve existing tools and develop processes to tackle abuse.
“These will be implemented from the start of the season. Although progress is being made, there is still much more to be done and the Premier League will continue to work with Government to ensure that its Online Safety Bill introduces clear requirements for social media platforms to end discriminatory abuse being carried on their services.”