Three years of football ban for Robert Garland following his discriminatory gesture against a Spurs forward at Crystal Palace in May
The Premier League has praised the football ban imposed on a supporter who harassed Tottenham Hotspur player Son Heung-min on the basis of his race during the previous campaign.
The offensive gesture was made by Robert Garland, 44, of Croydon, on May 6, 2023, after Son was substituted in the 89th minute during a game versus Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Garland was banned from attending football events for three years.
On August 25, 2023, Garland entered a guilty plea to charges of racially aggravated harassment at Highbury Magistrates’ Court. He was fined £1,384, required to perform 60 hours of unpaid labour, and £85 in costs.
Prosecutors successfully appealed Garland’s sentencing on November 6th to include a football banning order. Due to the ban, he will be unable to attend any organised game for three years and will have to turn up his passport when playing in international competitions, such EURO 2024.
“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”.
“This case shows that hate crime at football will not be tolerated,” stated Kevin Christie, the chief sports prosecutor for London North at the Crown Prosecution Service. We urge all supporters to continue reporting any discriminatory behaviour against players or fans to the police or stewards so that we can bring incidents like these to court. Garland’s actions were rightfully denounced on social media.