Rival Managers and FA condemn Homophobic Chanting From Manchester United Fans at Stamford Bridge

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Chelsea manager Graham Potter and his Manchester United counterpart Erik ten Hag have both condemned the homophobic chanting by United fans during Saturday’s 1-1 Premier League draw.

Offensive chants were heard from the standpoints throughout the Premier League clash between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Manchester United
Manchester United fans

The teams both split the spoils at Stamford Bridge, with Jorginho giving Chelsea the lead via a brilliant penalty shoot and Casemiro leveling things up in stoppage time.

However, the match was overshadowed by unsavory songs from the stands, prompting an official response from the Premier League clubs.

Chelsea vs Manchester United Premier League match was played against the backdrop of the League backing Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign, with both teams’ captains wearing rainbow armbands to show their support for LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport.

Manchester United
captains wearing rainbow armbands

However, managers of the two clubs have expressed their disapproval of the homophobic chants after the match when quizzed on the matter.

Graham Potter said “it’s clear we’ve still got a lot of work to do” following reports of the chants coming from the visitors’ end at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

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In the same vein, Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag said “it does not belong in the stands” after he was questioned by reporters.

Ten Hag also condemned the abuse hauled at Raphael Varane as the United defender left the field injured.

Manchester United
Ten Hag also condemned the abuse hauled at Raphael Varane

He said: “When Raphael came out it was the same on the other side; so we all have to stop doing that.”

Meanwhile, it is not the first time homophobic rants have been heard during games involving Chelsea.

In 2020, Chelsea claimed that a “large group” of Manchester United fans made homophobic chants during that season’s Premier League match at Stamford Bridge.

More so, Chelsea’s midfielders Conor Gallagher and Billy Gilmour, who were on loan at Crystal Palace and Norwich respectively, have been targeted with abusive chants, which were considered homophobic by LGBTQ+ fans

Following the past homophobic events, the Blues welcomed the verdict made by the Crown Prosecution Service determining the term ‘rent boy’ would be considered a homophobic slur, which would in turn be a hate crime.

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In addition, both clubs and the English Football Association have condemned the homophobic chanting heard from Manchester United supporters during their side’s draw at Stamford Bridge.

A Manchester United spokesperson later said: “Homophobia, like all forms of discrimination, has no place in football. Manchester United is proud of our diverse fan base and the work we have done to reduce instances like we sadly heard at Stamford Bridge.

“We will continue to campaign for inclusivity and to tackle discriminatory abuse whether inside stadiums or online. This includes working with fan groups to educate fans on the offence which discriminatory language causes.”

The Blues also issued a short statement after the end of the match, stating that the chanting showed there is more to be done.

Chelsea’s spokesperson said: “Chelsea Football Club finds all forms of discriminatory behavior unacceptable and we condemn the language used by some individuals today at Stamford Bridge.

“We are proud to be supporting Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign and today acts as proof that we must do more to make football a game for everyone.

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The FA, meanwhile, said in a statement: “Part of our work in this area has been to provide the relevant authorities with impact statements from LGBTQ+ supporters, detailing how chants of this nature affects their experience and feeling of inclusion at football matches, so that a clearer stance and understanding on the chant can be established.

“We stand firmly against all forms of discrimination and we are striving to ensure our game is a safe environment for all, which truly embraces diversity and challenges hateful conduct both on and off the pitch.

“We believe football is everybody’s game, and we will continue to do our utmost to use our influence to drive meaningful change so that our game is for all.”

As it stands, those supporters found to have used the hate speech could face prosecution as an investigation into the incident is expected.

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