100 Crystal Palace fans shout homophobic abuse in street ahead of Brighton game

Amy Ashenden March 18, 2013
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Sussex Police has promised to trace several Crystal Palace fans following a spate of homophobic incidents during Sunday’s match against Brighton and Hove Albion.

According to the Argus, over 100 Crystal Palace fans shouted homophobic abuse at passers-by and set off smoke bombs as they marched up West Street and Queen’s Road in Brighton before the game.

Minor scuffles occurred outside the stadium, when rival sets of fans tried to break through police lines. Officers in riot gear and mounted police pushed back the troublemakers before they could reach each other.

Chief Inspector Paul Betts, of Sussex Police, said: “There was a small number of potential flashpoints between rival groups of fans at Brighton and Falmer stations, but these involved a small minority and we were able to deal with them very quickly.”

The homophobic chants continued during the match, which saw a record crowd of 28,400 fans packed into the Amex to watch Crystal Palace lose 3-0 to Brighton.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said officers were aware there had been homophobic taunts hurled at Albion supporters.

He said: “Officers were deployed with body-worn video and if any offences are identified including homophobic chanting those responsible will be identified.”

However, police said the day was a “great success” with only five arrests made – three Brighton and Hove Albion fans and two Crystal Palace supporters.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson once again urged professional football clubs to do more to tackle homophobia in sport.

More: Brighton, Crystal, England, football, homophobia in football, homophobic attack, Sussex, sussex police

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