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Sport: Premier League to issue permanent bans to fans guilty of racist abuse

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England players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were targeted with racist abuse online after the Three Lions fell to Italy on penalties in the final of the UEFA European Championship. Saka was among many in the football community who demanded that institutions and social media companies do better to combat such hate-filled messages.

a close up of a sign © Press Association

On Tuesday, the English Premier League announced new anti-discrimination measures for the 2021-22 season that gets underway Friday.

Premier League clubs have agreed to enforce new League-wide punishments, including bans, for any individual found to have behaved in a discriminatory or abusive way towards any club employee, player, match official, matchday steward or fan attending a Premier League match, the English top-flight said in a prepared statement.

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This will cover behavior conducted in-person or online. Sanctions include permanent bans from attending not just League matches at the stadium of the club they support, but all Premier League matches.

The Premier League also vowed to continue working with social media platforms such a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram "to improve existing tools and develop processes to tackle abuse" throughout the upcoming campaign.

"Although progress is being made, there is still much more to be done and the Premier League will continue to work with Government to ensure that its Online Safety Bill introduces clear requirements for social media platforms to end discriminatory abuse being carried on their services," the league said.

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The Premier League's update comes less than one full week after the official Twitter account for the Juventus Women apologized for sharing a tweet that included a picture of an individual making a racist gesture.

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