Premier League welcomes banning order for fan who abused Son

8 Nov 2023
AFC Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Robert Garland banned from football for three years after making racial gesture at Spurs forward v Crystal Palace in May

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The Premier League has welcomed a football banning order handed out to a fan who racially abused Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min last season. 

Robert Garland, 44, of Croydon, has been banned from attending football matches for three years after he made the racial gesture when Son was substituted in the 89th minute in a match against Crystal Palace at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on 6 May, 2023.

Garland pleaded guilty to racially aggravated harassment at Highbury Magistrates’ Court on 25 August 2023 and was given a £1,384 fine, ordered to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work, as well as £85 costs.

On 6 November, prosecutors successfully appealed to add a football banning order to Garland’s sentence. The ban means he will not be able to go to any regulated match for three years and will need to surrender his passport during international fixtures, such as EURO 2024.

A Premier League statement read: “The Premier League welcomes the three-year football banning order issued today to an individual who racially abused Son Heung-min during a match in May.

"It is vital that those found guilty of discriminatory behaviour are held to account, and this punishment sends a clear message that action will be taken and there are consequences.

"Racism has no place in football or anywhere in society. If you see or hear discrimination of any kind, report it.”

Kevin Christie, the Crown Prosecution Service's lead sports prosecutor for London North, said: “This case shows that hate crime at football will not be tolerated. Garland’s actions were rightly condemned on social media and we call on all fans to carry on calling out any form of discriminatory behaviour against players or fans to the police or stewards so we can take cases like this to court.”

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