Soccer-Stadium bans to be given to fans convicted of online hate crime in UK

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FILE PHOTO: Stand Up to Racism Demonstration at the Marcus Rashford mural after it was defaced following the Euro 2020 Final between Italy and England

(Reuters) - Fans convicted of football-related online hate crime can now be banned from attending matches, Britain's Crown Prosecution Service said on Wednesday.

British courts could previously only issue so-called football banning orders for in-person offences.

The CPS, however, said it would now be able to ask courts for tougher penalties for supporters "intent on hateful conduct", including racist abuse.

"The new legal provisions will allow banning orders to be made for abuse involving racial or other hateful hostility which occurs online," the CPS said in a statement.

The CPS said football-related hate crimes had been on the rise in recent years.

It added that its updated guidance should be applied in all cases where it is possible to issue football banning orders.

"At the CPS, we play a crucial role in tackling these crimes and making our national sport inclusive and safe to watch. There is no place for hate in football. Hate crime can have a profound impact on victims," it said.

(Reporting by Silvia Recchimuzzi in Gdansk; Editing by Toby Davis)

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