independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Millwall fan who hurled racist abuse at Leeds player banned from all matches for five years

A Millwall fan who hurled racist abuse at a Leeds striker was today banned from football matches for five years and ordered to pay more than £500.

Gerrard Scanlon, 53, was arrested after Sky Sports News broadcast footage which appeared to show some of the London club's supporters abusing Senegalese striker El-Hadji Diouf.

The delivery driver admitted unleashing a foul-mouthed tirade when he was brought before magistrates this morning and fined £425.

He was told to pay further costs of £85 and a £15 victim surcharge, Scotland Yard said.

Scanlon launched his abusive rant during an npower Championship clash at the south east London ground, known as the Den, on November 18.

Allegations of racism later appeared online before Sky aired the incriminating footage.

Millwall Football Club said it was "appalled" by the clips while captain Danny Shittu said he was "deeply saddened" by what he saw in the documentary.

The club promised to ban any individuals for life if they were found guilty.

Scanlon, from Enfield, north London, was later accused of using threatening, abusive or insulting words likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

He was sentenced at Bromley Magistrates' Court.

Shittu said the club was looking at how it could tackle racism in the aftermath of the abusive episode.

"As the current Millwall captain, racism is something I do not stand for or condone," he said.

"I am currently in talks with the club about any further measures we can take in dealing with and eradicating racism at matches.

"I do not want the events shown yesterday to tarnish the hard work done by the club thus far and their efforts in tackling this issue."

Millwall have confirmed they have handed Scanlon a life-time ban from all matches at The Den.

The club issued the following statement: "Millwall Football Club understands Gerrard Scanlon, the man caught in the recent Sky Sports News documentary uttering racist abuse at a Leeds United player, appeared at Bromley Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning.

"The club had already decided to ban Scanlon for life from all matches at The Den.

"We are pleased that the behaviour of this individual came to notice, and that the police and the courts have now taken action against him.

"Millwall Football Club will continue to operate a zero tolerance policy to target and ban any fan guilty of displaying racist behaviour, and we look forward to developing even closer links with other agencies, including those in the media who share our determination to eradicate racism from our game."

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