London (AFP) – A court in Britain on Tuesday banned two football fans from attending England matches for three years after a video emerged of them singing an anti-Semitic song at the World Cup in Russia.
David Batty, 58, and 52-year-old Michael Burns both received the three-year banning orders after they returned from Russia and appeared before a court in Leeds in northern England.
District judge Charlotte Holland described their behaviour as “disgraceful”.
The court heard the duo had tickets for upcoming matches at the World Cup, which the judge said they would not now attend in an “unfortunate consequence of their actions”.
British police tracked them down after a video circulated online showing them singing anti-Semitic songs and making Nazi gestures at a bar in the Russian city of Volgograd, where England played Tunisia in the tournament last week.
Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad, was the site of one of the bloodiest battles in history when Soviet soldiers repelled Hitler’s army during World War II.
Under the banning orders, the pair cannot be within a two-mile radius of any England football matches until 2021.
A third man, 57-year-old Michael Herbert, was handed a five-year banning order by another British court on Saturday related to behaviour in the video, according to UK police.
A spokesman for Britain’s Football Association condemned “the actions of the people in this video”.
“The disgraceful conduct of the individuals in this video does not represent the values of the majority of English football fans supporting the team in Russia.”
Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts, Britain’s top football police official, added the behaviour of almost all England fans in Russia had been “excellent”.
“They are making friends wherever they are going,” he said in a statement.
“Where there have been incidents in Russia, swift action on their return has resulted.”