LGBT football fan groups condemn homophobic chants

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A group of LGBT football supporters organisations have come together to condemn homophobic chants by Arsenal fans.

Arsenal fans were recorded chanting that Chelsea player Ashley Cole was “a batty boy”. A group of fans from a variety of clubs, including Arsenal’s Gay Gooners, have releasing a statement speaking out against the fans who were involved.

It reads: “We deplore the public and organised homophobic chanting which was heard before the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday. This is unacceptable in 2015, could be construed as inciting hatred.

“The Gay Gooners, Proud Lilywhites, Canal Street Blues and Proud Canaries – working together under the banner of Pride in Football – ask all football governing bodies and the wider community to demand that this incident be fully investigated and charges brought against the organisers.

“We call upon the FA, Football Clubs, Premier League, Football League and the Police to fully investigate and bring charges under the Public Order Act.

“We acknowledge the ground breaking work in combating homophobia at Arsenal FC and expect the Board to take action against those fans in breach of the club’s own standards.”

Anwar Uddin, Diversity and Campaigns manager at Fans for Diversity said: “This incident highlights the need for our continued work raising awareness on all forms of discrimination and working with supporters across the country to improve the matchday experience for all to enjoy.”

The Liberal Democrats pledged to make homophobic chanting at football matches a crime in the manifesto.