© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks at the press conference in London, inside the Downing Street Briefing Room, while reporting on the country’s calming restrictions on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged on Wednesday to tighten measures against racist abuse of football players, banning fans from gambling if they are guilty of such crimes and punishing social media for not removing it.
Johnson and his interior minister, Priti Patel, have been on fire for some of his earlier comments after three black footballers were abused online after England lost in the 2020 Euro Cup final on Sunday.
The Prime Minister, who once again condemned racist abuse of players and defended Patel as a victim of such abuses, said his government had decided to tackle the problem, acknowledging that it was a racist problem in Britain.
“I think racism is an issue in the UK, and I think it needs to be tackled, and it needs to be addressed with some of the means I have described this morning,” Johnson said in parliament, where opposition politicians often drowned out.
Earlier, Johnson explained to parliament he was taking steps to try to tackle online abuse after he took over the heads of social media companies at the Downing Street headquarters on Tuesday.
“What we’re doing now is taking practical steps to change the regime of the Football Prohibition Order, if you were guilty … of racist abuse of footballers, then you won’t go to the match, no, no, no exceptions and no excuses,” he said.
“Last night I met representatives from Facebook (NASDAQ :), Twitter, TikToke, Snapchat, Instagram and made it very clear that we will make the law to deal with this problem if we don’t get the online damage bill and hate it and racism off their platforms, fines 10% of their income they will receive “.
The government has previously stated its intention to pass new legislation by empowering social media companies to impose fines.
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