Arrest made after ‘homophobic abuse’ during Nottingham Forest vs Wolves quarter final clash

Remo Freuler of Nottingham Forest battles with Gonalo Guedes of Wolverhampton Wanderers during the Carabao Cup Quarter Final match between Nottingham Forest and Wolverhampton Wanderers at the City Ground, Nottingham on Wednesday 11th January 2023

An arrest has been made after homophobic abuse was reported at a football match between Nottingham Forest and Wolverhampton Wanderers. 

The reported remarks were made at the Carabao Cup quarter final game on Wednesday (January 11). 

Information shared online by a Nottinghamshire Police officer has revealed it was a Wolves fan who was arrested

PC Simon Travell – the dedicated police officer for Nottingham Forest, who runs the NottsPolice Football Twitter account – wrote: “Following Homophobic Abuse reported to Police at tonight’s game, we have worked closely with the club and an arrest has been made from the away section – once again thank you to the Club for their support in this matter.”

During the same match – which saw The Reds triumph on penalties – one football fan also called out homophobic language used by members of the crowd around him. 

Nottingham Forest fan Dan said he had to call out two fans in front of him within 10 minutes of the match starting for directing homophobic abuse at the Wolves officials and players. 

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“I asked them to stop and was told ‘it’s football mate’. It might have been football decades ago, but times have changed,” he tweeted. 

In a thread, he added that while he did not personally take offence, despite being gay, he said he “will not and cannot sit there and listen to outdated, disgusting comments”.

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He said: “Football is everyone and I won’t accept anything less. Thanks to our stewards and fans around me for the support this evening.”

This is not the first time homophobic chants have been under the spotlight. 

The ‘Chelsea rent boy’ chant is a common one which has been heard from the stands regularly at matches across the country during recent decades. 

The term has traditionally been directed at Chelsea players and fans rather than other football teams because of the London borough of Chelsea’s past status as an LGBTQ+ hotspot. However, the slur has been reported at several matches recently where Chelsea FC was not present. 

Last January, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed that it would treat the “vile and disgusting” chant as a hate crime.

The arrest at yesterday’s match comes as the Football Association released a statement reminding clubs it can take disciplinary action against them if their fans use the term ‘rent boy’. 

The FA said it “strongly condemns all offensive, abusive and discriminatory chanting” and is “determined” to stamp the behaviour out, noting the “lasting and damaging” impact abusive language can have. 

In a statement published on Wednesday (January 11), governing body said: “The FA has formally written to all clubs across the Premier League, EFL, National League, Women’s Super League, Women’s Championship and Steps 2-4, to remind them that it can pursue formal disciplinary action against any club whose supporters engage in discriminatory behaviour, the use of the term ‘rent boy’.

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“This important step follows the recent successful prosecution of an individual by the Crown Prosecution Service for homophobic abuse, specifically relating to the term ‘rent boy’.

Chelsea player Cesar Azpilicueta claps during the end of a match while a Pride Chelsea flag waves in the background.
The chant aimed at Chelsea players and fans has been routinely condemned by the FA and various Pride groups. (Getty)

“The FA has now informed all clubs that it considers the ‘rent boy’ chant to be a breach of the FA Rules. These rules apply to the conduct of supporters at both home and away fixtures, and clubs at all levels of English football have a responsibility to ensure their spectators behave appropriately when attending matches.

“The FA takes all allegations of discrimination extremely seriously and would encourage anybody who has been subject to, or a witness of incidents of discrimination, to report it to the FA, the club or the relevant authorities so it can be investigated thoroughly.

“Together English football can drive meaningful and positive change so that stadiums can be a safe and enjoyable environment for all.”

A Wolves spokesperson said: “Homophobia, like all forms of discrimination, has no place in football or society, and the club strongly condemns such behaviour.

“Our ethos at Wolves is about being ‘One Pack’ – an attitude our supporters are very passionate about and that extends to our relationships across the football community, regardless of rivalries or what happens on the football pitch. 

“Although it is extremely disappointing to have any discriminatory behaviour reported at our games, what is pleasing is that it is being brought to our attention by stewards and fans, which is a huge help as we join together to eradicate discrimination from our game. 

“We will continue to campaign for inclusivity and to tackle discriminatory abuse whether inside stadiums or online, and the club will offer its full support to the police as they carry out their investigation.”

PinkNews has contacted Nottinghamshire Police for further information in regards to the arrest but have yet to respond. 

Nottingham Forest has been contacted in regards to the incident and arrest, but have yet to respond. 

Twitter user Dan has also been contacted about his experience but has yet to respond.

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