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Football fan says he was ‘abused’ after trying to stop ‘homophobic’ chants

Lily Wakefield September 6, 2019

Rob Vernon (right) with his brother at a Macclesfield Town game. (Rob Vernon)

A football fan says he was subjected to “abuse” after trying to stop the “homophobic” chants of other fans, while stewards “did nothing about it”.

Rob Vernon, 21, supports Macclesfield Town and the incident is said to have taken place at a home game at Moss Rose stadium last week against Morecambe.

He told CheshireLive: “During the second half of the game the opposition goalkeeper was in front of our fans and there were a number of chants towards him, which is usual at the football, but there were some that I thought crossed a line personally, which included homophobic abuse.

“I wouldn’t repeat them. I turned around to tell them to stop and they started to abuse me in the same way.”

Vernon, a season ticket holder and Cheshire East councillor, said it was “disheartening” to hear those kinds of chants from fellow Macclesfield Town supporters.

He added: “I have supported them all my life but it doesn’t feel very welcoming.”

He told PinkNews: “I expect banter and shouting at the football, but if you can’t do that without being a homophobic bigot then that’s your fault, not the fault of people for being upset about it.

“We all have a responsibility to make football accessible to everyone and that includes the LGBT+ community, who can be put off going because of this kind of stuff.”

Macclesfield Town homophobic chants
Rob Vernon said the “homophobic” chants took place at Macclesfield Town’s Moss Rose home stadium. (James Williamson/ AMA/Getty)

The football fan said stewards took “no action” to stop the “homophobic” chants.

Vernon also added that homophobic chants should be treated the same way racist ones, adding that “it’s just as bad”.

He said: “There were stewards there who certainly would have heard it but no action was taken.

“If they heard racism abuse they would ban them from the stadium and I don’t see why that shouldn’t be the case here.”

A spokesperson said Macclesfield Town told CheshireLive in a statement: “We will not tolerate discrimination of any form at the Moss Rose and have procedures in place to actively deal with anyone who is guilty of this.

“We are investigating it fully and have re-iterated our stance to club stewards who will be responsible for the ejection of any individual guilty of any form of discrimination going forward.

“We would like to thank all those who brought this matter to our attention and assure them that every effort will be made to ensure that this is not repeated.”

Earlier this year, Liverpool football club condemned “inappropriate and offensive” anti-gay chants from its fans at a match against Chelsea.

More: Cheshire, football, homophobia in football, macclesfield town

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