Man given three-year football ban after racially abusing Burnley FC ball boys

A man who racially abused two ball boys after a Burnley match has been given a banning order.

Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 2:57 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 3:57 pm
The incident took place after the Burnley FC vs Olympiakos fixture at Turf Moor in 2018

Christopher Crawford (29), of Venice Avenue, Burnley, was banned from football for three years after pleading guilty to committing a racially aggravated offence at the Burnley FC vs Olympiakos fixture at Turf Moor in August 2018.

After the game, Crawford appeared at the players' entrance as a number of the Burnley FC Under 18s squad, who had been acting as ball boys, left the stadium.

Crawford racially abused two members of the squad, with the matter reported to the club’s welfare officer who then contacted police.

Enquiries were carried out including a press appeal for information, with Crawford coming forward to speak to officers.

After initially denying the offence on interview he was given a summons and pleaded guilty at Burnley Magistrates’ Court on October 3rd.

He was handed a three-year football banning order, fined £350, costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £35 and £50 to the two players.

PC Dan Fish, Football Risk Management Officer, said: “The majority of people who attend football matches are law-abiding fans who want to watch a good match and enjoy the experience.

“However, Crawford’s behaviour that day was both shocking and repulsive. He targeted two young players with a disgusting and disgraceful tirade of abuse.

“Racist behaviour at football matches will not be tolerated.

“We want to show that behaviour of this nature will result in positive action being taken and these are the consequences.”