Millwall vow to educate 13-year-old fan after banning him for abusing Bolton's Sordell
14:16 GMT, 7 November 2012
Millwall have banned a 13-year-old fan for 'the foreseeable future' after he admitted verbally abusing Bolton's Marvin Sordell during an npower Championship match last month.
The incident occurred during Millwall's 2-1 win over Wanderers at the New Den on October 6 and led to an investigation involving both clubs and the Football Association.
Millwall confirmed the teenager had admitted abusing Sordell and has subsequently issued a written apology to the player.
Vile: Bolton's Marvin Sordell suffered verbal abuse at Millwall from a 13-year-old
Fallout: Sordell was then the target of a sick image posted on Facebook
Sordell, who represented Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics, took to Twitter after the match to claim himself and team-mates Lee Chung-young, Darren Pratley and Benik Afobe were subjected to racist taunts.
The club, though, have denied he was subjected to 'systematic abuse by more than one individual' while Sordell was warming up as a substitute.
The club, though, have denied he was subjected to 'systematic abuse by more than one individual' while Sordell was warming up as a substitute.immediately after the match, accusing fans of racial abuse.
Given the boy's age, Millwall have not imposed a life ban on the youngster and offered him a place on a 'Millwall for All' educational program 'in the hope that we can change his outlook on equality, racism and life in general'.
A statement on the Lions' website said: '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.
'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.'
Standing up to racism: Sordell was also part of the squad abused in Serbia
The FA added: '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.
While Bolton themselves spoke out, adding: 'Marvin Sordell would like to thank the FA, the PFA and Kick it Out for their support, and Millwall for the way in which they dealt with this.
'Bolton Wanderers will continue to work with, and support, the FA, Kick it Out and Show Racism the Red Card in their on-going work against all forms of discrimination in football.'