England news January 14, 2013

Man found guilty of racism at ODI

A man has been fined after racially abusing three young spectators during the ODI between England and South Africa at West End on August 28.

John Guinelly, a 44-year-old from Portsmouth, was ordered to pay each victim £500 by Southampton Magistrates' Court, with his actions towards the children described by magistrates as "threatening and abusive".

Hampshire Police launched an investigation after the incident when the three children, aged 11, 13 and 14, returned to their seats having purchased food during the match only to find that Guinelly and two other men had taken their places.

Guinelly first pretended he could not understand the children - the court heard he said "are they talking Dutch or something?" - and then used racist phrases when stewards asked him to move. Later, as Guinelly was being spoken to by stewards and police, he spotted one of the children and delivered another racist insult.

While Guinelly did not attend court, he send a letter stating that he would plead guilty to racially or religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress. He claimed his comments were "friendly banter". He was also ordered to pay £65 court costs.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Randolph on January 17, 2013, 16:40 GMT

    With the amount of internationals in the english cricket team youd think hed be used to it.

  • Gillian on January 16, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    I was brought up with football and followed my team home and away for years and years. My team employed the services of Lee Hughes a number of years ago, and my love of football came to an abrupt end. I did not want to see a man who had been responsible for the deaths of innocent people because of his recklessness, playing for my team. My son had started to play cricket and I started to watch him, do the scoring and gradually developed a real interest in the game.

    I've never quite understood the "drink as much as you can" mentality, whilst watching a sport. I like to follow the games, so it doesn't make sense to be blind drunk whilst trying to do so.

    As for behaviour like Guinelly's - it has no place in society, let alone sport. Banter is acceptable, the kind the players themselves engage in on the field - abusing a few little kids or other fans? Disgraceful. I certainly don't want to see that at cricket.

  • iqbal on January 15, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    I agree with lebigfella. went To Eng v Pak at Old trafford once. Highly charged atmosphere with loads of hassle. My friends and i (english, scottish, indian and pakistani) were next to 10 members of the Barmy Army( usual shirts off, tattoos, drunk) shouting racist abuse at the young asian kids aged 6-10 in front of them. we challenged them and it calmed down but it was a very unpleasant experience. what makes these guys think they can call themselves supporters when all they do is drink and urinate in the stands all day. Unfortunately there was trouble on both sides. shame as it was a good match

  • Alefiya on January 15, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    Serves him right! But his 'friendly banter' claims suggest that he has learnt absolutely nothing from this incident and will most likely repeat it!

    Ban him for life!

  • Sanjay on January 15, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    Credit to to the folks for reporting him to the Police. What a smart guy, continuing to racially abuse in front of a Police Officer too. Defn deserves to be banned for life.

    While drink is not mentioned in this particular case, a big problem in international matches in England is the amount of people who show up just to drink all day. If you're one of the unlucky fans to be sitting in the same row as these clowns, you'll be getting up and down all day so they can go to the bar and refill. We need more FAMILY stands.

  • richard on January 15, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    agreed banned for life from the ground.

  • Baundule on January 15, 2013, 2:55 GMT

    Very light punishment! Friendly banter with 11 years old kids!! Racists are stupid.

  • Dummy4 on January 15, 2013, 0:49 GMT

    That is a shameful act. There should be no racism in sports at all. I feel for those kids. They must be distraught by this person's behaviour. These kind of people should be banned for life.

  • Jason on January 14, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    It saddens me... but doesn't surprise me. The Rose Bowl is a lovely setting for cricket but it has the worst atmosphere of any cricket ground I have ever been to... England v. Pakistan ODI 2006 - The tension was awful, edgy and charged. And probably the only time Southampton & Portsmouth fans are ever in allegance. I maybe naive but I expect all cricket fans to get on, engage in amicable chat, enjoy the cricket and relax as their teams battle it out in the middle. As for Guinelly's claim that is was friendly banter... I am sure the youngsters were very scared and intimidated by this level of friendliness... what a fine example you are to all... you must be very proud

  • No featured comments at the moment.