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By ESPN Staff

Four men banned and fined for indecent chants

Four men have pleaded guilty to chanting homophobic and racist abuse at Sol Campbell during a football match and been banned from football grounds for three years, as well as being fined £500 each.

A total of 11 men, including three juveniles, appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates' Court on Tuesday facing charges of indecent chanting, related to offensive remarks made at the Portsmouth defender during a match against Tottenham Hotspur at Fratton Park on September 28 last year.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Keith Stevens, 54, Hailsham, Richard Gibbs, 36, of Wokingham, Stuart Turner, 34, of Telford, and Oliver Sylvester, 28, of Southampton, all pleaded guilty.

Seven others, including a 13-year-old boy and two 15-year-olds, have pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The court heard that the main indecent chants directed towards Campbell were: "Sol, Sol, wherever you may be, Not long now until lunacy, We won't give a ---- if you are hanging from a tree, You are a Judas ---- with HIV", "Campbell you are a ----, Campbell, Campbell you are a ----", and "Sol's a ------, Sol's a ------."

Other chants at the game were the repetition of the words "Gay boy" and "You can stick Sol Campbell up you're ----".

The court heard that not all of the defendants sang all of the chants, but variations of them.

Magistrate Susan Waddle did not impose reporting restrictions on the two 15-year-old boys, stating that they had behaved like adults and should be treated as adults, but she did impose reporting restrictions on the 13-year-old because of his young age.

A trial date for the defendants who pleaded not guilty was set for May 13 at the same court.


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