Son Heung-min, a striker for Tottenham and South Korea, was subjected to racial abuse by a Crystal Palace supporter, who has been permanently banned for three years from football.
Having yelled and gestured to Son at Selhurst Park in May, Robert Garland pled guilty to racially aggravated harassment in August. He was initially fined £1,384 and ordered to perform 60 hours of labour without pay before receiving a three-year football ban.
On the other hand, the UK Football Policing Unit received an appeal about the punishment from Spurs and the Met Police. “The Metropolitan Police, supported by the club, approached the UK Football Policing Unit to seek an appeal against the sentence and, as a direct result, the court issued the supporter with a three-year football banning order,” Tottenham said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We thank the police for their cooperation on the matter. We should like to reiterate that the club does not tolerate discrimination of any kind and will always seek for the strongest possible action to be taken against those found responsible.”
The Premier League expressed its “positive” response to the sentence, which entails that Garland must give up his passport when international matches are planned and cannot attend any sanctioned matches for three years.
“Those convicted of discriminatory conduct must be held responsible, and this penalty conveys a distinct message that steps will be taken and repercussions exist,” the Premier League stated in a statement on Tuesday.
On May 6th this year, during Tottenham’s 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace, Garland, 44, made the racist gesture when Son was replaced in the 89th minute. Son informed the police that, in the words of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), he did “nothing to be targeted with this horrific racial and discriminatory attitude.”
A spokesperson for the CPS added: “This case shows that hate crime at football will not be tolerated. “Garland’s actions were rightly condemned on social media and we call on all fans to carry on calling out any form of discriminatory behaviour against players or fans to the police or stewards so we can take cases like this to court.”