The Portsmouth defender Sol Campbell believes abuse aimed at players and managers is an issue of human rights, and he has called for the Football Association to act over it.
Campbell was targeted by Tottenham fans at the weekend, six years on from his move from White Hart Lane to Arsenal, while the Pompey manager, Harry Redknapp, was recently abused by Aston Villa fans.
"If this happened on the street, you would be arrested," the England centre-back told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. "This is the 21st century, and this is a human rights situation where sportsmen and managers are trying to do their job professionally and people are abusing them verbally. It has gone too far.
"We all can take the booing and light banter, but when it gets to the realms of verbal abuse it's a bridge too far. I think the FA, PFA [Professional Footballers' Association] and even the Government should get involved.
"I know people may be disgruntled with how I left certain clubs – or club – I understand that. But when you get to the level of verbal abuse which I was subjected to – and other players up and down the country – it's got to stop now."