Date: November 08 2012
English second-tier club Millwall has banned a 13-year-old supporter for "the foreseeable future" after he verbally abused Bolton's Marvin Sordell during a match last month, the club announced.
The incident occurred during Millwall's 2-1 Championship win at the New Den, the club's home ground in south London, on October 6 and led to a Football Association investigation.
Millwall said the teenager had admitted abusing Sordell and had written an apology to the player.
The club said it had decided against imposing a life ban on the fan given his age, and said that instead it had offered him a place on a "Millwall for All" educational scheme "in the hope that we can change his outlook on equality, racism and life in general".
Millwall supporters became notorious for violent and racist behaviour during the 1970s and 1980s, when Lions fans revelled in their unpopularity with rival clubs in a chant of "Nobody likes us, we don't care".
But Millwall officials have tried to rid the club of its unsavoury image with a series of community schemes.
Initial reports of the Sordell incident suggested there had been mass racial abuse of Bolton players by Millwall fans.
Millwall chiefs hit back on Wednesday, saying in a statement: "We would also like to put on record how disappointed everybody at Millwall FC was in the way in which the initial allegations were reported in some sections of the media.
"These reports were made with no knowledge of the facts and created the impression that Bolton players were subjected to racial chanting or systematic abuse by more than one individual."
Issues regarding racism have been a hot topic within English football in recent weeks.
Chelsea captain John Terry recently served a four-game ban for racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand.
Meanwhile, Chelsea has complained about "inappropriate language" used towards midfielder John Obi Mikel by referee Mark Clattenburg during its Premier League defeat by Manchester United.
Both the Football Association and the police, as a result of a complaint by the Society of Black Lawyers, are making inquiries into Clattenburg's alleged remarks.
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