Brighton and Hove Albion in FA plea over homophobic chants

Brighton and Hove Albion fans Brighton and Hove Albion fans complain of homophobic abuse at away games

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Fans of Brighton and Hove Albion have called for more action to address homophobic chanting in football grounds.

Some supporters said the FA was doing little to stop abuse, which is aimed at Albion fans because of the city's connections to the gay community.

Homophobic and racist chants are outlawed by ground regulations.

Funke Awoderu, the FA's equality manager, said everyone needed to take responsibility for stopping abuse.

John Hewitt, chairman of the Albion's supporters club, said the problem is especially bad at away games.

"We get it everywhere we go," he said.

"The ground regulations say you cannot use homophobic behaviour.

"There's a certain amount of banter between fans, but when it crosses that line and becomes offensive it's not acceptable.

"The FA is is not doing enough."

'Unacceptable chants'

Raj Chandarana, from the Football Supporters Federation, said: "It isn't about trying to clamp down on things in a forceful way, which is quite difficult to do.

"It's about education - making people aware that homophobic chants are unacceptable."

Ms Awoderu said it was explicit in the regulations that homophobic abuse is a punishable offence.

"Match day stewards and all the security and intelligence that's available to clubs, is such, that people also have a responsibility," she said.

"It can't always be the FA that needs to have these sanctions, we all need to have the responsibility."

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