All racist football trolls should be punished…by receiving a lifetime ban.

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All racist football trolls should be punished…by receiving a lifetime ban.

RACIST trolls who abuse players online could be banned from matches for up to ten years under new government proposals.

Cowardly keyboard warriors who abuse players from behind a screen will be treated the same as thugs who scream racist chants from stadium seats under the new policy.

These bans are already in place for the latter, but until now, online trolls have been able to hide behind the veil of social media.

This is completely incorrect, and Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, has made the correct decision.

In fact, I don’t see why those who send the most heinous racist abuse to athletes online shouldn’t be barred from all sporting events.

They have no business being allowed to watch games if they choose to use football to create an online cesspool of hate and abuse.

It’s firm, but it’s also reasonable.

Given the country’s deep divisions, it’s especially the right thing to do.

After the squabbling and brawling over Brexit and then Covid, football brought us all back together — albeit briefly — last year.

As a result, maintaining the sanctity of the ­beautiful game is critical.

That is why, in order to deal with incidents like the one that occurred after the Euro 2020 final, we need more robust penalties.

People across the country waited with bated breath as the England boys lined up to take their penalties in that nail-biting shootout against Italy last July, praying desperately that the lads would finally bring it home.

It was clear after three misses that it wasn’t going to work out.

It was heartbreaking to see Bukayo Saka, who was only a teenager at the time, crying on manager Gareth Southgate’s shoulder.

The team’s efforts were met with sympathy and pride by decent people all over the world.

Unfortunately, the Neanderthals among us went online and bashed their keyboards angrily, making monkey references and using the N-word.

Although some of them gave up a few weeks of freedom after receiving a jail sentence as a result, I believe that people of this caliber should be subjected to a far more severe penalty: the loss of the right to attend any games.

The only way to send the message that racist abuse in sports will not be tolerated is to excommunicate them.

It’s a message that millions of law-abiding supporters understand and support.

Prior to Covid, English Football League attendance had reached a 60-year high.

Only a small percentage of these backers are racists.

The majority are regular people who believe that our teams’ diversity is a testament to British values.

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