Earlier this week, foul-mouthed fan Joseph Webb was banned from attending matches for three years after chanted homophobic slurs during a football (a.k.a. soccer) championship in Southhampton last month.Under the Public Order Act, which claims “to abolish the common law offences of riot, rout, unlawful assembly,” Webb has also been fined a total of £200.
Brighton and Hove Albion, the team he mouthed off against, is often targeted with such homophobic slurs because of Brighton’s flourishing gay scene. “We get it everywhere we go,” said John Hewitt, chairman of the Brighton and Hove Albion supporters’ club. “There’s a certain amount of banter between fans but when it crosses that line and becomes offensive it’s not acceptable.”
“Homophobia within football is currently the subject of national debate and the ban given today highlights the fact this type of behaviour will not be tolerated,” a spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary said. “Thousands of people pay each week to watch sport and enjoy themselves, and they should not have to hear offensive language and abuse while they do so. We will continue to take action against those who behave in such a way at football matches.”
Or as the Queen might put it, “We are not amused.”
Image via Stevendepolo