Tottenham fan arrested after homophobic ‘Chelsea rent boy’ chant plagues yet another match

Hotspurs players and Chelsea players

A Tottenham Hotspur football fan has been arrested after allegedly starting a homophobic chant, aimed at Chelsea players during a London derby on Sunday.

Spurs claimed a 2-0 win at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, but the victory was marred when homophobic chants were heard during the game.

The club has condemned the language, saying there is “no place for discrimination” among its supporters.

According to a Twitter post by a fan attending the match, the chants were heard before the game started and again after Chelsea player Hakim Ziyech was given a red card after an altercation with Tottenham’s Emerson Royal. The decision was rescinded after a VAR (video assistant referee) check, with a yellow card shown instead.

Zack Leader, who reported the incident, took to Twitter to raise his concerns.

Tottenham’s official Twitter account responded by stating that an arrest had been made.

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The chants come just days after the club published a statement on its website about the support it has for Football v Homophobia Month of Action. The initiative aims to end LGBTQ+ discrimination in football.

Chelsea games have been dogged by the homophobic “Chelsea rent boy” chant in recent decades and last season Liverpool, Leeds and Tottenham all issued statements condemning its use by some of their supporters.

In January 2022, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed that it would treat the “vile and disgusting” chant as a hate crime.

“Chelsea rent boy” is a phrase directed at current and former Chelsea players, and the team’s supporters, by opposition fans. Whether those using it know it or not, the term has homophobic connotations.

The phrase is used to describe a young male prostitute – specifically, one who sells sex to other men.

One of the reasons the term is directed at Chelsea players and fans rather than other teams is because of the London borough of Chelsea’s past status as an LGBTQ+ hotspot.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Chelsea was a hub for LGBTQ+ people in west London, boasting numerous pubs and bars where queer people could freely be themselves.