The Gay Football Supporters’ Network (GFSN) and the Brighton & Hove Albion Supporters’ Club (BHASC) have welcomed an Early Day Motion (EDM) to end homophonic chanting at football matches, which was tabled on Monday, April 15 by John Leech MP, Liberal Democrats spokesperson on Culture, Leisure and Sport.
This follows a report released by both organisations into the level of homophobic chanting experienced by supporters of Brighton & Hove Albion so far this season, which showed that abuse has been heard from 72% of all opponents, in 70% of away matches and in 57% of all matches Brighton has played this season.
Chris Basiurski, GFSN Chair, said:
“We are extremely pleased that our report has drawn the support of MPs in Parliament and we welcome this Early Day Motion.
“The aims of the report were to raise awareness of the ongoing problem of homophobic chants aimed at Brighton supporters and the need for all parties to step up efforts to tackle it.
We hope that the Early Day Motion will attract the support of MPs from all political persuasions and we urge all the MPs who are eligible to sign and help bring the football authorities to the table so that together we can come up with an effective and coordinated plan to eradicate the abuse”
Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, has co-sponsored the EDM, which calls on the police, clubs, supporters and the football authorities to work together to stamp out homophobic chanting.
“While real progress has been made in tackling racist abuse in football, homophobic chanting in the stands remains rife.
“There’s clearly still a long way to go towards changing such deeply offensive behaviour, and I pay tribute to the work done so far by BHASC and GFSN in highlighting this important issue.
“With such an anti-gay atmosphere in clubs and amongst supporters, it’s not surprising that footballers like Robbie Rogers feel they can no longer stay in the game once their sexuality becomes known.
“Today we are urging politicians, the police, football clubs and supporters to come together and look at ways to eradicate homophobic chanting from the sport for good.”