Two fans banned from all Twickenham rugby matches over homophobic abuse

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Following an investigation into homophobia, two fans have been banned from all rugby matches at Twickenham.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) banned the two fans for a period of two years. The ban is over homophobic abuse directed at referee Nigel Owens.

Each fan will pay £1,000 each to a charity chosen by Owens.

RFU CEO Ian Ritchie said: “While instances of this nature are exceptionally rare, the RFU takes rugby’s values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship very seriously, and is determined to uphold them.

“We are all guardians of these aspects of the game, on and off the pitch, and it is these values which make the sport special.”

The RFU will underline what is expected of supporters. At international matches the RFU will put messaging in the programme, in every ticket pack, on mid-tier LED boards and big screens throughout match day.

A new text service was launched this season, allowing fans to text ‘HELP’ to 60886, in order to anonymously report any abuse or anti-social behaviour.

Twickenham also has 850 stewards on hand to assist fans.

A second investigation is ongoing.