Tottenham Hotspur are to become the first Premiership football club to ban homophobic chanting on the terrace. The club have warned fans that offenders may be ejected from premises and risk having their season tickets voided.
The club have instituted the rules following a series of homophobic chants directed at Tottenham’s former captain, Sol Campbell during their recent home win over Charlton.
Mr Campbell, has long denied that he is gay, despite rumours sparked by aggrieved Tottenham fans who resented his transfer to Arsenal in 2001.
A notice in the Tottenham programme for the Premiership visit of Wigan today says: “We would like to remind supporters that offensive chanting is not an acceptable part of our match day at The Lane. The club are committed to tackling all forms of discrimination or harassment, whether it concerns race, religion or sexual orientation. We all want an enjoyable and tolerant atmosphere and one which reflects well on the club and supporters; to achieve that, everyone has a part to play.”
The club will also print a mobile telephone number that fans can text if their fellow supporters are being abusive.
A club spokesman told the Mail on Sunday: “We are aware of the spate of homophobic songs and chants. We don’t want to hear it and it’s something we want to be driven out. We are actively encouraging fans to blow the whistle but realise how difficult it is to put your hand up and ask a steward, which is why we’ve included a text number in the programme.”
Meanwhile across North London, Arsenal insisted homophobia is not a problem amongst their fans, a spokesman told PinkNews.co.uk: “Should there be a case of homophobic actions or chanting, the Club would treat this in the same way as racist chanting; this is our Club policy towards racist language and chanting.”
“The Club does not tolerate foul language and racist chanting. Whether Arsenal supporters of visiting supporters are responsible, the Club will take action – through the courts if necessary to stamp out this unacceptable behaviour. Where evidence exists, including video evidence, the Club will prosecute individuals.”
“We encourage our supporters to report any such chanting, be it racist or homophobic, and foul language too.”