Police investigate as football louts ‘hurl homophobia at rivals and pick fight with 13-year-old’

Graham Potter, manager of Brighton and Hove Albion celebrates with Pascal Gross

Police are investigating after football fans claimed they were called homophobic slurs and threatened by rival supporters.

After Brighton and Hove Albion FC, nicknamed the Seagulls, beat Leeds United 1-0 on Saturday (27 August), Albion supporters complained of abuse from Leeds fans, both at the Amex Stadium and on social media, reported Brighton and Hove newspaper The Argus. 

According to the paper, Twitter users also accused Leeds United fans of spitting at people and urinating in public. 

An Albion fan named Liam, who spoke to The Argus but didn’t wish to disclose his last name, claimed he saw a Leeds fan shout at a Brighton supporter, calling him a “f****t” and a “p**f”.

“He appeared at one point to climb over the handrails to get to the other fan and the police intervened,” Liam told The Argus. 

The Albion also reported that Seagulls fan, Simon Fisher, claimed on social media that someone at the fixture “tried to pick a fight with my wife and 13-year-old son”.

Another fan of the club, Jason Martin, said the abuse at the game was “overt” and “widespread”, according to The Argus.

The newspaper said another supporter took to Twitter and said: “That has to be the worst experience I’ve had at the Amex.

“There were no police about, they were picking fights with everyone, pushing down barriers.

“They were so aggressive [and] intimidating.”

The incident follows West Ham becoming the first UK football club to threaten homophobic fans with a lifetime ban.

A Sussex police spokesperson told PinkNews: “We can confirm a number of public order incidents were dealt with during the Brighton and Hove Albion vs Leeds United match at the Amex Stadium on Saturday. 

“We also received reports of homophobic comments posted on social media. 

“These incidents will be investigated in liaison with both Brighton and Hove Albion, and Leeds United football clubs. Where incidents are reported, we will look into them and they will be recorded.” 

Brighton and Hove Albion and Leeds United have been contacted by PinkNews for comment.