FA misses open goal on homophobic chants, says Pride in Football
LGBT+ supporters representatives "disappointed" at lack of action from FA on 'Chelsea rent boys' chant, and from social media companies on online abuse
Last Updated: 21/02/20 11:15am
The FA has "missed an open goal" in not investigating homophobic chants made by Manchester United supporters against Chelsea, says Pride in Football, the network of LGBT+ fan groups.
The FA says it takes Chelsea's report seriously and remains in regular and ongoing discussions with the police, Kick It Out and Crown Prosecution Service on what language is deemed discriminatory but has refrained from launching an official investigation.
That is despite the fact Chelsea say they would not tolerate such language, vowing to ban any fan found guilty of abusive behaviour.
- Chelsea vow to ban Utd fans who made homophobic chants
- West Ham do not condone homophobic chants during Chelsea win
On the FA's stance, Rob Sanderson, national officer of Pride in Football, said: "We have made it very clear we stand by Chelsea Pride and support the statement the club have put out.
"The 'rent boys' chant is homophobic - we don't accept it, we don't tolerate it and we will always call it out and report it.
"I'm really disappointed with the decision the FA has made after saying they were going to take a tough stance on the issue and clamp down on homophobia and LGBT-phobia in the game.
"So for them not to take this opportunity feels like they are missing an open goal."
'Social media has to be regulated'
The incident comes amid the backdrop of the late Justin Fashanu being inducted into the National Football Museum's Hall of Fame.
That announcement has been met with a torrent of abuse online, with Di Cunningham, founder of Norwich's LGBT+ fans group Proud Canaries, urging for social media organisations to become regulated.
Speaking at the event, she said: "Just look at the toxic responses about this event. It's growing instead of being curbed.
"We have to do something about social media. It has to be regulated.
"Twitter, Facebook, Instagram - all the social media companies have to step up and in general find mechanisms where people aren't subject to toxic hatred."