A NATIONAL anti-racism charity said a Saints’ fan’s vile racist outburst has “absolutely no place in football” after he was banned from matches for three years.

Adam Gough launched a foul-mouthed, racist tirade at Southampton Football Club’s vice-captain Ryan Bertrand during their defeat at Arsenal last season.

His language upset so many fans inside the Emirates that police were contacted and the 25-year-old bought to justice with a criminal conviction and a banning order.

And Kick It Out, UK football’s equality and inclusion organisation, has condemned Gough, from Basingstoke.

A spokesperson for the group said: “We’re pleased the football supporter who racially abused Ryan Bertrand has been identified and given a banning order by the police, with Southampton Football Club playing an important role in bringing the offender to justice.

“Discrimination has absolutely no place in football or wider society, and this case is another important reminder that there are consequences for abusive behaviour in football stadia, particularly when clubs and the police are proactive in response.”

Following Gough’s hearing at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court, where he admitted causing racially aggravated alarm or distress, Andy Darbyshire, of Hampshire Police’s football unit, thanked Saints fans for their help in the investigation.

He said: “We are really thankful for the Saints fans that made statements in relation to this incident.

“We take a zero tolerance on this type of behaviour and welcome any reports to us if anyone hears this type of inappropriate behaviour.”

Bertrand, who has made more than 150 appearance for Saints, was captain for the game at the Emirates.

Saints lost the entertaining encounter 3-2, after Danny Welbeck scored a late winner.

A spokesperson for Saints said: “Southampton Football Club does not tolerate any form of discrimination and works tirelessly to ensure all fans are able to watch the team in a safe and welcoming environment.

“The club was made aware of the matter and has worked closely with Hampshire Constabulary throughout their investigation.”