Manchester United’s LGBTQ+ Supporters Group urge fans not to sing homophobic chants vs Chelsea, saying that it ‘isn’t banter’ as the club tell ticket holders they will ‘take all necessary action against individuals’ using offensive slurs
- Man Untied’s LGBTQ+ Supporters Group urge fans not to make offensive chants
- It comes as the club are set to take on Chelsea tomorrow in the Premier League
- The club has also written to ticket holders to condemn any offensive slurs
Manchester United’s LGBTQ+ Supporters Group have told fans not to sing offensive chants when they host Chelsea on Thursday.
The club have also written to ticket holders warning supporters that ‘any one found using offensive language will be prosecuted’ while the club will take ‘all necessary action against individuals’ too.
It comes as recent meetings between the two clubs have been soured with homophobic chants being made while former Everton manager Frank Lampard had abuse directed to him during Manchester United’s 3-1 win at Old Trafford in January.
Mail Sport also reported that the FA had written to clubs regarding the amount of abusive chanting that has been overheard in the first half of the season.
Speaking on the discriminatory chants, Rainbow Devils chair Eric Najib said to BBC Sport: ‘It is something that can quite easily taken away from football.
Manchester United’s LGBTQ+ Supporters Group have urged fans not to make homophobic chants ahead of Chelsea match
Former Everton manager Frank Lampard was subjected to homophobic slurs during United’s 3-1 win against the Toffees in January
‘With all the amazing songs that all clubs have, especially Manchester United, there is no need for it.’
The Crown Prosecution Service, also in January, condemned one homophobic slur in particular as a ‘hate crime’ and not ‘harmless banter’ and those using the words could face prosecution.
More recently, Wolves were charged by the FA for homophobic chanting during their match against Chelsea last month.
Rainbow Devils vice-chair Lindsay Parr also said to BBC Sport: ‘Banter doesn’t exclude. Banter doesn’t make people feel so uncomfortable that they can’t attend games and don’t want to be involved in football.
‘I don’t think you can label homophobia, racism, sexism, whatever prejudice still exists sadly, as banter and expect to get away with it.
‘Education is key. If they look into the history of the chant and why it is offensive, they will realise why it doesn’t have a place in football.’
Ahead of the match against Chelsea, Man United have also written to ticket holders to condemn discrimination and warn fans that anyone singing homophobic chants could be ‘liable to be prosecuted’.
‘Ahead of our Premier League fixture against Chelsea FC, we want to write to you about the historic incidences of homophobic abuse aimed at Chelsea FC players and supporters,’ the statement read.
‘Homophobia, like all forms of discrimination, has no place in football. The club is extremely proud of our diverse fan base and the work we have done to reduce incidences of homophobic abuse and chanting, but now we must go further and eradicate it altogether.
Ranbow Devils spokespersons said that the chants are ‘not harmless banter’ and that ‘education is key’
Meanwhile, the club have issued a statement to ticket holders saying ‘the club will also take all necessary action against individuals as outlined in our sanction policy’
‘As a club, we will continue to lead the way for inclusivity and the tackling of discriminatory abuse whether inside stadiums or online through our All Red All Equal initiatives. This includes working with our fan groups to educate supporters on the impact and offence caused by discriminatory language.
‘Supporters are reminded that the Crown Prosecution Service has now classed the ‘rent boy’ chant as a hate crime, and anyone found to be using it is liable to be prosecuted. The club will also take all necessary action against individuals as outlined in our sanction policy.
‘We recognise that only a very small number of our fans use this term, but it is important that everybody in the Manchester United family plays their part in promoting inclusivity and driving discrimination out of our game.
‘Football is for everyone,’ the statement finished.
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