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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 December, 2004, 14:20 GMT
Fan sentenced over racist abuse
Celtic defender Bobo Balde
Bobo Balde was a target for racial abuse
A football supporter found guilty of racially abusing two Celtic players has been ordered to carry out 180 hours of community service.

Dundee fan Alan Martin, 50, hurled insults at Bobo Balde and Momo Sylla during a match at Dens Park in March.

He was reported to police by a teenage fan who was sickened by his behaviour.

Sheriff Robert Vaughan told him: "Scottish football is already blighted by religious intolerance, it certainly does not need racism intolerance."

He said Martin, from Dundee, had been found guilty of "a very serious offence".

Under surveillance

The trial at Dundee Sheriff Court was told that he had hurled insults at the two players and made monkey noises.

A 14-year-old boy reported his behaviour to police and officers kept him under surveillance during the second half.

He was arrested after they heard him shouting "suck bananas" at the players.

Momo Sylla
Momo Sylla was playing for Celtic against Dundee
The former season ticket holder was banned from Dens Park following his arrest.

Sheriff Vaughan said he had been "very impressed" by the teenager's evidence.

"He was so affected by what he saw, that he went out of his way to point out to police officers the actions of a fellow season ticket holder who sat beside him," he said.

A spokesman for Dundee Football Club also praised the boy for bringing Martin's behaviour to the attention of police.

"There is no place for racism in Scottish football, or football anywhere in the world, and firm action must be taken by all clubs to stamp racism out.

"It was an isolated incident, but it is still our responsibility to take firm action as well as the courts."


SEE ALSO:
Dundee fan guilty of racist abuse
23 Nov 04 |  Scotland


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