Homophobic chant in English soccer deemed punishable offense

Jan 12, 2023, 8:00 PM | Updated: Jan 13, 2023, 10:16 am
FILE - Chelsea fans support their team before the English FA Cup final soccer match between Chelsea...

FILE - Chelsea fans support their team before the English FA Cup final soccer match between Chelsea and Liverpool, at Wembley stadium, in London, Saturday, May 14, 2022. Chelsea welcomed the English Football Association's decision to make a homophobic chant aimed at its supporters a punishable offense, calling it a “step in the right direction” on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

LONDON (AP) — Chelsea welcomed the English Football Association’s decision to make a homophobic chant aimed at its supporters a punishable offense, calling it a “step in the right direction” on Friday.

The FA announced on Wednesday that chants of “Rent Boy,” which have been directed at Chelsea fans by rival supporters, are now considered a breach of its rules.

It has written to all Premier League clubs and clubs throughout English soccer to enforce the point and attempt to stamp out discriminatory behavior.

“The ‘Rent Boy’ chant is intolerable and has no place in football or anywhere else,” Chelsea said in a statement. “That opposition clubs can now face disciplinary action if their supporters engage in this discriminatory and offensive behavior is a step in the right direction. Everyone who chooses to participate in this chant must know their actions have consequences.”

There have been allegations of the chants being made in recent Chelsea games.

“The Football Association strongly condemns all offensive, abusive and discriminatory chanting in football stadiums, and is determined to stamp this behavior out,” the FA said. “These chants can have a lasting and damaging impact on people and communities within our game, and it must stop.”

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Homophobic chant in English soccer deemed punishable offense