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Men sought by police in connection with homophobic chanting at Portsmouth game

PinkNews Staff Writer December 10, 2008

Police in Portsmouth have released photos of sixteen people they want to trace in connection with racist and homophobic chanting at a football match.

Portsmouth FC’s Sol Campbell, a former England defender, was subject to abusive taunts from the crowd during a Premiership game against Tottenham Hotspur on September 28th.

Tottenham fans reportedly dislike Mr Campbell due to his transfer from Tottenham to rival team Arsenal in 2001.

Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the sixteen people pictured.

The images (see below) were captured during the match by a police officer.

Homophobic abuse is against the rules at every Premier League and Football League club.

The Football Association’s decision to amend the ground regulations was approved in 2007 after consultation with the leagues.

In May a campaign was launched to help stamp out homophobia in British football.

It aims to “vindicate the memory of Justin Fashanu, the world’s first openly gay professional footballer.”

A 2006 survey found out that 57% of footballers think that football is homophobic.

The aim of the Justin Campaign is to get the FA to observe Saturday 2nd May 2009 as Justin Fashanu Day.

Hampshire Constabulary had previously said that the scale of the abuse meant at the Portsmouth game meant that arrests could not be made, but a spokeswoman said that the incident will be fully investigated.

Anyone with further information should contact Operation Decorum on 0845 045 45 45 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

In July two Preston North End fans were banned from the club’s ground for a year and fined by magistrates.

They were convicted of public order offences after chanting homophobic slogans during a game in Blackpool in March and banned from Blackpool FC’s ground.

Nine Blackpool fans were banned from their home ground for shouting homophobic and racist abuse during the same match against Preston.

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