Soccer-West Brom issue life ban to man found guilty of online racist abuse


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City - The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, Britain - January 26, 2021 West Bromwich Albion's Romaine Sawyers Pool via REUTERS/Michael Regan EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details./File Photo

(Reuters) - West Bromwich Albion have handed a life ban to a 50-year-old man convicted of racially abusing midfielder Romaine Sawyers online earlier this year, the Premier League club said on Thursday.

Sawyers was targeted after West Brom's 5-0 league defeat by Manchester City on Jan. 26. His abuser was found guilty under the Communications Act of having posted a "grossly offensive message" following a trial at Walsall Magistrates' Court.

"The club welcomes the guilty verdict and has issued a lifetime ban to the person in question," West Brom said in a statement https://www.wba.co.uk/news/club-statement-albion-issue-lifetime-ban on their website.

"West Brom has a proud history of fighting all forms of discrimination and our message to supporters is clear; racism is wholly unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the club."

Several Premier League players have been subjected to racial abuse online in recent months and English soccer has been piling pressure on social media firms to do more to tackle the problem.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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