Blackburn fans banned over racist chanting
Two Blackburn Rovers fans have been banned for chanting racist abuse aimed at rivals Burnley.
Graham Kendal, 26, of Heys Lane, and Anthony Thomas Sutcliffe, 22, of Exchange Street, Blackburn, were arrested during the away fixture at Wigan on Boxing Day.
They pleaded guilty to the offence at Wigan Magistrates’ Court and were given banning orders preventing them from attending any football matches in the next three years.
Superintendent John McNeil said ‘pro-active stewarding’ led to Kendal and Sutcliffe being identified among the 5,000 away crowd and hauled out of the DW Stadium.
It is understood the song made reference to the former Burnley manager Owen Coyle and Pakistani people.
Supt McNeil said: “The racially abusive chanting was not directed at an individual in the stadium, but towards Burnley Football Club. Genuine members of the public would have been appalled.
“Police and the stewards work together to identify troublemakers ranting and shouting. One of the tactics we may use is that of plain clothes intelligence officers.
“On this occasion it was down to some good observation by pro-active stewards. We use all sorts of methods to enforce these banning orders, including our officers travelling with away fans, going to home games, and using CCTV.”
PC Neil Shacklock of Wigan’s Football Intelligence Unit added: “The behaviour of these people give true football fans a bad name and they are a disgrace to the vast majority of genuine fans who simply want to enjoy football.
“I hope these successful prosecutions go some way to warn other people who feel that racist chanting is acceptable. It is not and there will be consequences for behaviour like this.”