HC Deb 29 June 1998 vol 315 c11
9. Mr. Derek Wyatt (Sittingbourne and Sheppey)

What steps the football task force is taking to combat racism in football. [46321]

The Minister for Sport (Mr. Tony Banks)

The football task force has completed an excellent report into racism in football and made numerous practical recommendations to combat this blight on the game. I have written to all the organisations identified in the report as having a role to play, asking them how they intend to implement the recommendations relevant to them. I am very pleased with the positive responses that I have received from those organisations to date.

Mr. Wyatt

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. While we are waiting for a gap in the legislative process, could I persuade my hon. Friend to publish a league table of worst offenders in soccer, so that we can shame the clubs, and their shareholders?

Mr. Banks

On waiting for a gap in the legislative timetable, the House should be aware that the Government will amend the Football (Offences) Act 1991 to make racist abuse by individual spectators an offence, and that we want to do so as speedily as possible. My hon. Friend dangles before me an interesting and tempting proposition. I shall consider it in due course, and I may come back to him with a more considered response.