English Premier League club Nottingham Forest have issued a condemnation after some supporters allegedly directed homophobic chants at visiting Chelsea fans.
News reports claimed Chelsea supporters were subjected to the chants when the two clubs met in a 1-1 draw at Forest’s City Ground on Sunday (Monday NZ time).
Forest later issued a statement, saying it was “aware of reports concerning chants aimed at Chelsea supporters from a minority of fans” and emphasizing the club “do not condone any type of discriminatory or offensive behaviour”.
“The matter will be fully investigated.”
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The chants have appalled Chelsea’s official LGBTQ+ supporters group, Chelsea Pride, which posted a statement on social media.
“We totally condemn the Chelsea Rent Boy chant that can be heard at the City Ground,” the statement read.
“Time to call this out the game is live on SkySportsPL This is now classified as a hate crime.”
Their post prompted a message of support from Nottingham Forest group, LGBTQ+ Trickies.
From all genuine NFFC fans, please accept our apologies, not only do we hope NottPolFootball will do their best to take action,” its statement read.
We are embarrassed and ashamed.”
After Forest’s statement, LGBTQ+ Trickies posted again, thanking the club and expressing support for Chelsea Pride for “helping to eradicate and educate this type of hate crime”.
The BBC reported that the chant was classified as a homophobic slur by Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service in January 2022.
That means anyone singing was committing a hate crime and could face prosecution, the report said.
England’s Football Association condemned homophobic chanting by Manchester United fans at Chelsea supporters during a Premier League game last October.
The FA said then that it was determined to drive the chant out of football and believed the sport should embrace diversity and be “everybody’s game”.
Managers Erik ten Hag (Manchester United) and Graham Potter (Chelsea) have also deplored the chant.