Crack down on ‘soccer hate’

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FOOTBALL authorities should crack down on clubs that fail to stop their fans chanting abuse from the stands, England’s top sports prosecutor says.

Nick Hawkins, lead sports prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service , said it was not acceptable for the vilest of chants to be laughed off as banter because stars were paid lots of money to “take it”. Describing the racist abuse of players and some of the most extreme chants as hate crimes, he added that anything that would be a crime off the pitch was a crime on it too.

Clubs who fail to act could be forced to play games behind closed doors or be docked points, he said.