UNITED KINGDOM: An investigation into homophobic chants heard during Manchester United’s 3-1 FA Cup win against Everton on Friday night has been opened by the Football Association.
During the second half of the game at Old Trafford, the song appeared to be intended for Everton manager Frank Lampard and referred to his lengthy affiliation with Chelsea, where he served as both a player and manager.
The governing body said: “We strongly condemn the use of the term ‘rent boy’ and we are determined to drive it out of our game.”
“We continue to work closely with the Crown Prosecution Service, as well as the UK Football Policing Unit, about the use of this term.”
They continued, “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.”
Manchester United said in a statement: “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 the one we sadly heard today. 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 offense that discriminatory language causes.”
Rainbow Devils, United’s LGBTQ+ supporters’ organization, urged the team to track down and punish those responsible for the chants. In a tweet, the group stated that it “strongly condemns the taunting of Frank Lampard with the illegal and homophobic chant from a section of our fans” and demanded that the club take appropriate action.
“We call on Manchester United to take everything in their power to identify the culprits and deal with them in the strongest possible manner,” the group said.
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