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Cheltenham 'saddened' by alleged homophobic abuse in Charlton game

Cheltenham say they have "a zero-tolerance policy to discrimination of any kind"; Gloucestershire Police confirm they are investigating incident during 1-1 draw at Jonny-Rocks Stadium; Cheltenham's LGBTQ+ supporters' group says it is "bitterly disappointed"

Cheltenham Town v Charlton Athletic - Sky Bet Championship - The Jonny-Rocks Stadium
Charlton Athletic fans in the away end before the Sky Bet Championship match at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium, Cheltenham. Picture date: Saturday January 15, 2022.
Image: The incident occurred in the Cheltenham vs Charlton match on Saturday

Cheltenham Town say they are "saddened" by reports of alleged homophobic abuse during Saturday's League One draw with Charlton Athletic.

Gloucestershire Police confirmed they were made aware of alleged homophobic chanting directed at a player and removed three youths from the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

Cheltenham said in a statement: "We are aware of the reports of homophobic abuse during this afternoon's match against Charlton Athletic.

"We are saddened by the incident, which is being dealt with by the police. We will not be making any further comment at this time.

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Highlights of the 1-1 draw between Cheltenham Town and Charlton Athletic in League One

"Cheltenham Town has a zero tolerance policy to discrimination of any kind and works closely with Proud Robins and the Robins Trust to promote football for everyone at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium, irrespective of their background.

"Proud Robins, our new LGBTQ+ supporters network, was launched in December to drive inclusion at the club. We will continue to work closely with everyone to ensure all supporters can enjoy football in a safe and welcoming environment.

"We encourage fans to report discriminatory behaviour to their nearest steward so that appropriate action can be taken."

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In a tweet, Proud Robins said: "We are bitterly disappointed to hear reports of homophobic abuse at today's Match. Discriminatory abuse is a hate crime and any person using it is not a fan and needs to face the full consequences."

Chuks Aneke's last-gasp equaliser cancelled out Dan Nlundulu's earlier goal to earn Charlton a 1-1 draw, leaving Cheltenham 13th in League One.

Gloucestershire Police statement

At Saturday's match, police were told by stewards that they had received reports of homophobic abuse and chants being directed toward a player. There were also allegations that a player had been spat at in the match between Cheltenham Town and Charlton Athletic at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

Police are investigating the allegations and three youths were spoken to and their details were taken. They were ejected from the ground.

This behaviour will not be tolerated and we will continue to work with both clubs to investigate. Officers are asking for anyone who witnessed what happened to come forward and provide information.

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