A man who racially abused Didier Drogba has been given a three-year football banning order preventing him from attending any regulated football match in the UK and abroad.
Stephen Guy Fitzwater, 55, of Hartland Road, Isleworth, Middlesex, appeared at Hendon Magistrates’ Court on 30th April 2012, where he pleaded guilty to racially aggravated abuse under the Section 5 Public Order Act 1986.
On 15th April 2012, Fitzwater attended the FA Cup semi final at Wembley between Chelsea and Tottenham. He was in the Chelsea supporters’ end when he made a racially offensive comment towards Didier Drogba. The comment was heard by a number of other Chelsea supporters who took offence and reported him to a steward.
Fitzwater was arrested by Metropolitan Police officers at the stadium and subsequently charged. He appeared at Hendon Magistrates’ Court on 30th April and pleaded guilty.
The banning order runs from 30th April 2012 to 29th April 2015.
“Chelsea Football Club and the overwhelming majority of our fans abhor all forms of discrimination and believe they have no place in our club or our communities,” Spokesperson for Chelsea FC said. “We will be taking the strongest possible action against this individual, who has received a football banning order along with a lifetime ban from Chelsea Football Club.”
Chelsea FC thanked their fans for reporting this incident and others which occurred during the semi-final, as a result of which a number of persons have been banned for using racial and abusive language.
“We would also like to thank the police and criminal justice system for their hard work in pursuing the case from prosecution to conviction,” the club’s spokesperson said.