Southampton FC fan receives three-year ban and a fine after homophobic chant

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A Southampton supporter who chanted homophobic abuse has received a three-year football banning order, BBC News reports.

Joseph Webb was charged after the incident at Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium, during a Championship game with Brighton and Hove Albion on 19 November.

Brighton’s association with the gay community means its football team is often a target for rivals at away games.

Webb, 26, of Romsey, admitted the charge under the Public Order Act, and was fined £100, plus £100 costs.

Rikesh Sakaaria, 28, of Southampton, was also charged but his case was withdrawn.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokeswoman said: “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.

“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.”

At the time of the original arrest, a spokesperson for the Justin Campaign said: “In making these two arrests at St. Mary’s, Hampshire Police have shown that it is not acceptable to hurl abuse at a minority who have, for far too long, been excluded from the game we all love.

“Homophobic chanting is not ‘harmless banter’, it is offensive and damaging behaviour which has no place in a football stadium.