Two charged in Southampton after homophobic football chants

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Two people have been charged for repeating homophobic chants at a football match between Southampton FC and Brighton & Hove Albion.

Hampshire police arrested the pair on Saturday at a game at the Southampton side’s home ground.

Earlier this month, fans of Brighton and Hove Albion 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”.

The pair will appear before Southampton Magistrates’ Court on 2 December.

Rikesh Sakaria, 28, of Southampton, and Joseph Adam Webb, 26, of Romsey, were charged under the Public Order Act for incidents of homophobic abuse.

Until they appear at court, the two cannot attend any football matches.