Brighton supporters say Dispatches programme on homophobia was ‘misleading’

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Supporters at Brighton Albion FC have criticised a Channel 4 Dispatches programme as “misleading”, saying that its portrayal of homophobic abuse in the stands does not reflect the majority of opposition supporters.

The Albion Supporters’ Club issued the statement following broadcast of last night’s Channel 4′s Dispatches programme on homophobia in football.

The group’s vice chair, Liz Costa said that things had improved greatly, and that the number of away supporters chanting homophobic abuse had dropped significantly.

Speaking to the Argus, she said: “We will never stamp it out completely but it’s a hell of a lot better this year than last – and it will be even better still in 12 months.

“A couple of years ago it would be whole sections of the away end directing homophobic abuse at us.

“Now – as you can see from the documentary – it is just very small numbers.”

She went on: “The world is full of bigots so we will always get this kind of abuse, but it has improved no end.

“We used to get it every single game. This season I can probably count the incidents on one hand.”

The [programme came, following a complaint by Brighton fans to the FA that they had been subjected to homophobic chants at over half of matches.

Chants, in which small children can be seen joining in, included: ”It’s a long way home, you faggots”,“Get bumming him boys …Gayboy”, and “Do you take it up the arse?”

Costa said it was clear from the footage on Dispatches that it was only a small minority of people chanting.

On Monday, Minister for Sport and Equalities Helen Grant said: “we must do all we can to tackle any sort of discrimination in the game”.