TARGETED: Diouf was racially abused by Millwall fans at The Den
A COURT has found a Millwall fan guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence for racially abusing Leeds United player El Hadji Diouf.
Gerrard Scanlon, a 53-year-old delivery driver from Enfield, north London, was ordered to pay a fine of £425 and cover £100 costs at Bromley Magistrates’ Court – the court also issued him with a five-year ban on watching Millwall.
However, the football club have decided to extend the ban to a lifetime one.
Scanlon pleaded guilty to the charge. He was caught on camera in footage of a special Sky Sports report showing Millwall fans hurling racial abuse at the Senegalese footballer during a match at The Den on November 18.
After the report went public, Millwall said they were “appalled” by the evidence of racism and promised to reopen its investigation into racism.
Once the verdict had been reached in court concerning Scanlon, the club issued a 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”, it read.
“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.”
Millwall’s captain Danny Shittu has spoken out about his disappointment over the latest race scandal to hit the club.
“I am deeply saddened by the documentary on Sky Sports showing racism by the minority at matches including at Millwall FC”, he said in a statement released on the club’s website.
“As the current Millwall captain, racism is something I do not stand for or condone.
“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.
“Every player at all levels has the right to represent their club without being subjected to homophobic or racial taunts. I will do all I can to help eradicate racism at my club and in football”, he added.
Mark Ireland, a police sergeant in the Lewisham Football and Events office, said: "The sentencing of Scanlon shows that we take racism very seriously and it will not be tolerated.
"The majority of football fans are law-abiding people but there is a small minority who seem determined to cause trouble. We will always work hard to bring to justice anyone found to be engaged in racism or violence at football matches.
"Equally we continue to work alongside Millwall FC and other partners to stamp out this behaviour and ensure football matches are safe and trouble-free for supporters and the wider public."