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Nov 7, 2012

Millwall ban teenager

Millwall have banned a 13-year-old boy after establishing Bolton striker Marvin Sordell's claims that he was racially abused prior to the game between the two sides on October 6.

Sordell, 21, had said that he and Bolton team-mates Darren Pratley, Benik Afobe and Lee Chung-Yong were targeted by Millwall fans leading to both clubs and the Football Association opening an official investigation.

The south London club have also opted to put the youth through an education programme in an effort to "change his outlook on equality, racism and life in general." He has also sent a written apology to Sordell which was accepted.

"Firstly we would like to put on record how grateful we are for the support and co-operation we have received from Bolton Wanderers and the FA in resolving what has been a challenging and topical issue over the past four weeks," Millwall said in a statement.

"Having completed our investigations into the incident, we have identified and interviewed a 13-year-old boy who admitted a verbal exchange with Marvin Sordell in which abuse was used. "The individual has been banned from Millwall matches for the foreseeable future, but as a club we also felt, given the boy's age and background, we had a duty to play our part in attempting to educate and rehabilitate him.

"Accordingly, we have offered to put him through one of our education programmes, run by Millwall for All (formerly the Millwall Anti-Racism Trust) in the hope that we can change his outlook on equality, racism and life in general.

"In the meantime, the boy has written a letter to Marvin Sordell offering his apology, which has been accepted."

The Football Association also has applauded Millwall's actions in choosing to try and change the teenager's behaviour, as well as banning him. And they praised both clubs' commitment in ensuring that the case was fully completed.

An FA statement read: "The FA applauds both Millwall FC and Bolton Wanderers FC for their commitment and cooperation in ensuring a full and thorough investigation could take place.

"We would also like to thank Marvin Sordell and The PFA for their assistance throughout this process.

"The FA fully supports Millwall's approach in terms of dealing with the young individual responsible through a ban from the club's matches for the foreseeable future as well as offering him a place on one of its education programmes, run by Millwall for All.

"As the English game's governing body, The FA continues to work closely with our partners to ensure we eradicate all forms of discrimination in football, including the important work Kick it Out undertakes with professional clubs through the Equality Standards."

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