MPs de­mand sta­dium ban on anti-gay foot­ball fans

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Femail -

SPORTS fans who scream anti­gay abuse should get im­me­di­ate sta­dium bans of up two years, MPs de­manded last night.

And par­ents who make ho­mo­pho­bic re­marks while watch­ing youth games should also face ac­tion, they said.

In a hard-hit­ting re­port, the Com­mons Cul­ture, Me­dia and Sport Com­mit­tee called on sports bosses to show ‘zero tol­er­ance’ of prej­u­dice, say­ing at­ti­tudes in sport – par­tic­u­larly foot­ball – were ‘out of step with wider so­ci­ety’.

But the BBC also came in for scathing crit­i­cism for in­clud­ing boxer Tyson Fury on the 2015 Sports Per­son­al­ity Of The Year short­list, de­spite his his­tory of ho­mo­pho­bic com­ments.

MPs said they were ‘very dis­sat­is­fied’ with BBC di­rec­tor gen­eral Lord Hall’s re­sponse to the con­tro­versy, say­ing the af­fair raised ques­tions about BBC ex­ec­u­tives’ judg­ment.

With sur­veys sug­gest­ing 72per cent of foot­ball fans have heard ho­mo­pho­bic abuse at matches, the com­mit­tee said this was too of­ten dis­missed as ‘ban­ter’.

MPs praised a two-year ban on rugby fans who aimed anti-gay abuse at in­ter­na­tional ref­eree Nigel Owens.

The Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion said: ‘We welcome the re­port and we will re­view it in full.’

A BBC spokesman said: ‘A panel of ex­perts unan­i­mously agreed Tyson Fury should be on the short­list, based solely on his sport­ing achieve­ment.’

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