Norwich City and Ipswich Town are joining forces to take action against the worst examples of unacceptable social media posts in the build-up to the local derby at Carrow Road on Sunday, February 18.
Both clubs will issue stadium bans to any supporters who post grossly offensive, abusive or discriminatory material on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms.
The tough stance follows a few examples of posts of this nature about legends Justin Fashanu and Sir Bobby Robson, made during the build-up to the last derby clash at Portman Road in October, which led to Ipswich banning two supporters.
City Managing Director Steve Stone said: “The East Anglian derby is one of the great rivalries in English football and one to be enjoyed and celebrated in the right spirit by everybody connected with both clubs. We’re all looking forward to the latest instalment when we host Ipswich later this month.
“Unfortunately, however, when we last met at Portman Road in October there was some material posted on social media, by a tiny minority of fans of both clubs, which has no place in modern football or society in general.
“We are therefore determined to unite with Ipswich Town in dealing with this sort of material and we will issue stadium bans where we deem it appropriate. Of course in some cases, posts of this nature may fall into the realms of criminal offence and could also lead to police action.”
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Nick Davison, from Norfolk Police, said: “We fully support the club in taking this strong stance, which sends a clear message about behaviour expected from supporters. Working in partnership with Suffolk Police, officers monitor social media in the run-up to significant games and we will investigate any crimes identified. We will also notify clubs where postings have the intention of provoking violence or disorder so they can consider banning the offender.”