Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has pleaded with fans not to tease former defender Ashley Cole after some were heard chanting homophobic songs about the former player who recently left the club for London rivals Chelsea.
The chants were heard at Arsenal’s win over Manchester United last weekend, relating to tabloid allegations which wrongly reported that Cole had been involved in a gay orgy.
Wenger was unhappy with the way the fans referred to the England left-back, The Guardian reports, he said: “At Arsenal we want to ban any songs that contain bad words, we don’t want anything like this to happen again.”
The chanting is reminiscent of the bitterness Tottenham Hotspur fans felt when Sol Campbell left to join the Gunners in 2001.
The real test of the fan’s respect will be on December 10 2006 when Arsenal and Chelsea meet at Stamford Bridge.
Last June, Cole received an apology and damages from the News of the World and The Sun following a series of newspaper articles that wrongly claimed him to have been involved in a gay orgy.
The tabloids published a series of articles between the 12th and 19th of February 2006 accompanied with pixelated photographs of Mr Cole and the radio DJ Masterstepz (Ian Thompson) although neither party were named.
The following week, PinkNews.co.uk published an unedited version of the photographs that confirmed that the newspapers were alleging that Mr Cole and Mr Thompson were the parties involved in the alleged orgy.
Following the publication of the photographs on PinkNews.co.uk, Mr Cole and Mr Thompson began legal action against the News of the World and the Sun but not against PinkNews.co.uk.
Both Cole and DJ Masterstepz have received an apology and damages for the stories from News Group.