Liverpool FC condemns ‘offensive’ homophobic chants at Chelsea match

Liverpool supporters hold up their scarves in the crowd ahead of the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on April 14, 2019.

Liverpool football club has condemned “inappropriate and offensive” chants from fans at a match against Chelsea.

The football club spoke out against the chanting at the team’s 2-0 victory over Chelsea at the Anfield stadium on Sunday (April 14).

Liverpool football club: Homophobic chants are unacceptable

Fans were heard chanting “Chelsea rent boys” during the match, despite a push to clamp down on homophobic language.

The club said: “The club is concerned about a chant from some of our fans, specifically referencing Chelsea, as inappropriate and offensive.

“We would urge all Liverpool supporters to respect each other and stop such chants as they do not reflect the inclusivity that the club stands for.

“As a proud member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme, we are committed to LGBT equality across all areas of the club, and have contacted them and our own affiliated LGBT group Kop Outs for further support.”

The Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield on April 14, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

The Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield on April 14, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Michael Regan/Getty)

On social media, Kop Outs wrote: “Most of our fans know the importance of supporting @LFC positively.

“At Kop Outs, we’re pleased that #LFC takes fan conduct seriously.

“Homophobic chanting is not OK.”

A spokesperson for Chelsea said: “We welcome Liverpool FC’s acknowledgement of homophobic chants from home supporters at the game and their commitment to rid such sentiment from their stadium.”

According to previous reports, the “Chelsea rent boys” chant is thought to have originated in the 1980s after newspapers reported that, in a dawn raid by police, a Chelsea hooligan was found in bed with a male prostitute (or “rent boy”).

Reports of homophobia at football matches have increased

Kick It Out, which works to combat racism, homophobia and discrimination in football, released a report in November that warned hate incidents are up dramatically year-on-year.

There were 111 reports of homophobic abuse incidents around football matches in the 2017/18 season, a 9 percent increase from the previous report.

Six transphobic incidents were also reported in 2017/18.

Racist incidents remained the most prevalent, with 273 reported incidents over the past year, up 22 percent year-on-year.

Kick It Out chair Lord Ouseley said in a release: “It is hugely disappointing to have to reveal, yet again, increasing levels of all forms of discriminatory abuse at football.

“While the increased reports reflect a greater inclination among fans to complain about unacceptable abuse, these trends reflect, in part, what is happening in the rest of society. Hate crime reports have doubled over the last year to more than 94,000.”

He added: “Football cannot be complacent about the risk to the game this represents. Much good work has, and is, being done to prevent and counter unacceptable behaviour. But, the professional leagues and their clubs must do more in a coherent and consistent way – exemplifying all the best practices applied by some clubs – to drive hateful and abusive spectators out of the game.

“Equally, The FA and its county associations, as well as local leagues, must step up their actions to ensure compliance and enforcement at grassroots level.”