Brighton football supporters urge FA to tackle anti-gay chants

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Fans of Brighton and Hove Albion have urged the FA to take more action in countering homophobic chants at football grounds.

Brighton’s association with the gay community means its football team is often a target for rivals at away games.

John Hewitt, chairman of the Brighton and Hove Albion supporters’ club said: “We get it everywhere we go. There’s a certain amount of banter between fans, but when it crosses that line and becomes offensive it’s not acceptable”.

Homophobic chants are outlawed by ground regulations in the same manner as racist chants.

Raj Chandarana, of the Football Supporters Federation, said: “It isn’t about trying to clamp down on things in a forceful way, which is quite difficult to do.

“It’s about education – making people aware that homophobic chants are unacceptable.”

Funke Awoderu, the FA’s equality manager, said everyone needed to take responsibility for stopping abuse.

“Match day stewards and all the security and intelligence that’s available to clubs is such that people also have a responsibility,” she said.

“It can’t always be the FA that needs to have these sanctions, we all need to have the responsibility.”