Ipswich Town fans told behave online or face stadium bans ahead of Norwich derby
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Ipswich Town are warning fans who post obscene abuse on social media that they could face stadium bans ahead of the second East Anglian derby.
Two individuals were banned from attending the derby at Portman Road in October after they made comments about former Norwich striker Justin Fashanu and also targeted the memory of former Ipswich Town manager Sir Bobby Robson.
Town’s managing director Ian Milne said: “Online social media has many advantages but regrettably there is the darker side and a minority use social media to post content that is threatening, obscene and hateful.
“This can provoke or encourage violence and abuse, and is often intended to cause offence to others, although content like this is condemned by the vast majority of users.
“Ipswich Town Football Club and Norwich City Football Club have come together to take action against those who post offensive remarks or pictures and those fans face a stadium ban.
“We have dealt with offenders in the past and will continue to do so. They have no place in football and we will have no hesitation in making the police aware of comments if we consider it appropriate.”
City managing director Steve Stone said: “The East Anglian derby is one of the great rivalries in English football and one to be enjoyed and celebrated in the right spirit by everybody connected with both clubs.
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“Unfortunately, however, when we last met at Portman Road in October there was some material posted on social media, by a tiny minority of fans of both clubs, which has no place in modern football or society in general.”
Both local police forces have supported the move.
Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Parkes from Suffolk Constabulary said: “The club has taken a really strong moral stance on this issue which has to be applauded.
“Suffolk Police monitor social media in the build up to significant games.
“Whilst we investigate any crimes identified, my main concern is to ensure that where postings are aimed at provoking violence we notify the club straight away so that they can consider banning the offender.”