Premier League clubs to extend bans for abusive behaviour

FILE PHOTO: Britain Football Soccer - Southampton v Watford - Premier League - St Mary's Stadium - 13/8/16 Fan poses with new Premier League logo Action Images via Reuters / John Sibley Livepic

LONDON (Reuters) - Premier League clubs have agreed to introduce league-wide bans on any supporter who is banned by a club for discriminatory or abusive behaviour, England’s top flight said on Thursday.

The clubs held a shareholders’ meeting at which it was decided they would take a united stand against fans guilty of threatening behaviour.

"Following recent events, the 20 clubs committed to introducing a League-wide ban for anyone banned by their club for discriminatory, abusive or violent acts," the Premier League said in a statement here.

“Unacceptable conduct towards players, fans, club employees or referees will not be tolerated by the Premier League or its clubs.”

The announcement came on the day Bournemouth handed a 17-year-old supporter a lifetime ban after he pleaded guilty to chanting racist abuse during a league match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in November.

The clubs also agreed to move the last day of the close-season transfer window back to the end of August or early September -- in line with Europe’s other top leagues.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond