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British officials want fans banned for homophobia at pro and youth matches

MPs want ‘zero tolerance’ policy.

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Middlesbrough v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship
Trouble can find its way into the stands of English soccer matches.
Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images

British Members of Parliament have levied a scathing report about the persistence of homophobic language and other anti-LGBT messages at sporting events in England, taking particular aim at soccer while praising the efforts in rugby.

In evaluating the state of homophobia in sports, the MPs made it clear they are unimpressed with the steps taken by people in soccer and want an immediate change in policy, including a ban of up to two years for use of anti-gay language the report put on par with racism.

“It is clear to us that the casual use of homophobic epithets and terms has a wide-ranging and damaging effect and we consider it disappointing that a significant percentage of people consider anti-LGB language to be harmless,” the report said. “It should be treated in the same way as other offensive language, whether racist, sexist or denigrating any other group.”

The report also took aim at the BBC, which nominated notorious anti-gay fighter Tyson Fury for its athlete of the year award in 2015.

“The inclusion of Tyson, despite a series of violently homophobic remarks, is symptomatic of homophobia not being taken seriously enough in sport, or the media that shows it,” the report said.

Your move, sports.