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Sport: Is hate speech ground for sanctions to sport clubs and applied/applicable in practice?

Key Area:
Public Life, Culture, Sport & Media
24/02/2012 - 10:32
Short Answer


Qualitative Info

The Law on the Prevention and Combating of Violence in Sports Venues N. 48(I)/2008 prohibits racist statements by sports actors and the use of racist posters, banners, gestures or the uttering of words with racist or insulting content in general. It does not foresee any sanctions against clubs for the actions of their fans, even when the fans are using the club premises to launch their various racist activities. The general prohibition against racist speech and gestures is rarely applied; the approach followed by the authorities is not to provoke the fans and stir up trouble.

The RAXEN Thematic Study on Cyprus of March 2009 entitled ‘Preventing racism, xenophobia and related intolerance in sport across the European Union’ quoted particular black footballers complaining about fans chanting slogans like “let’s throw some bananas at him,” and “go back to the jungle you black bastard”, making monkey noises when a black footballer touched the ball, all of which were a common occurrence at some grounds; some black players reportedly expressed the wish to leave Cyprus as a result of this behaviour.


Groups affected/interested Ethnic minorities, Africans/black people
Type (R/D) Afrophobia, Nationalism, Xenophobia
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Sport
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