'Idiot' who shouted racist abuse at Mo Salah receives ban

An Everton fan who shouted racist abuse at Mohamed Salah has been banned from football matches for three years.

26-year-old Joel Barwise admitted to shouting racist abuse at the Merseyside derby at Anfield back in October, as well as mocking the Heysel stadium disaster.

Barwise has received a fine of £500, as well as a banning order, after pleading guilty to racially or religiously aggravated harassment causing alarm or distress by words or writing at Sefton Magistrates' Court.

The Crown Prosecution Service has said Barwise was seen shouting abuse when Salah's name was announced before the game, while he also taunted home fans about the Heysel stadium disaster.

It is reported that Barwise was spotted by a steward, while Merseyside Police made an arrest after identifying him from CCTV.

Asked why he had done it, Barwise — who initially claimed to be the victim of mistaken identity before pleading guilty — said: "Because I'm an idiot."

Senior crown prosecutor Angela Conlan said: "Joel Barwise no doubt thinks of himself as a loyal Everton fan but his actions bring shame to his club.

"He made fun of a tragic football disaster and shouted racist abuse when a key Liverpool player's name was announced. Football has no place for this sort of behaviour and the majority of Everton fans would no doubt condemn his actions on that day and want to disassociate themselves from them.

"For his disgraceful behaviour, he is now banned from following his team or any other UK team for three years, has been fined and has a criminal record.

"The Crown Prosecution Service hopes this sends out a message to all football spectators that the law applies in a football ground as it does anywhere else and this sort of behaviour is criminal."

Football - FA Premier League - Liverpool FC v Everton FC LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 21, 2023: Liverpool s Mohamed Salah scores the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 243rd Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda LIVERPOOL Anfield MERSEYSIDE ENGLAND PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK Copyright: xDavidxRawcliffex P2023-10-21-Liverpool_Everton-41

The banning order means Barwise, of Bentham Drive in Childwall, cannot attend any football match in the UK over the next three years and must surrender his passport when international matches are being staged abroad, the CPS has said.

He also cannot go within a mile of any Everton match, home or away, or within a mile of Liverpool Lime Street station on matchdays.

Salah, of course, scored both goals as Liverpool won the October Merseyside derby 2-0.

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