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Chelsea Football Club has issued a lifetime ban to a 35-year-old fan, Kerry Hardwell from Bognor, who pleaded guilty to sending offensive communications on social media, including antisemitic

posts referring to Jews as "vermin" and "parasites." The posts were discovered by fellow Chelsea supporter, Dan Levene, a freelance sports journalist, who reported the matter to Sussex Police last August. Over 50 antisemitic tweets were found on Hardwell's account, dating back from 2012 to 2022.

Hardwell faced charges of sending communications with offensive messages and using an offensive word through a public communication network. His guilty plea led to the ban from the football club, which suspended him during the criminal proceedings. Chelsea FC commended Levene for coming forward and stated that nobody should endure such disgusting abuse.

In court, Levene emphasized the offensive nature of certain words and their historical use to demonize and persecute minorities. He praised Chelsea FC's efforts in addressing and eradicating anti-Jewish racism, acknowledging the rise in awareness of antisemitism.

PC Darren Balkham, Sussex Police's dedicated football officer, condemned the vitriol in the messages and emphasized that there is no place for antisemitic and racist abuse in football or society. The case serves as a reminder that such hateful behavior online can lead to real-world consequences, as individuals behind keyboards can still be identified and held accountable for their actions. Photo by inkiboo, Wikimedia commons.