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Crystal Palace fans accused of homophobic abuse in official report

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Palace fans have been accused of abusing their arch rivals with homophobic chants. A report by the Gay Football Supporters' Network (GFSN) names and shames a number of clubs whose supporters are alleged to have abused Brighton and Hove Albion's fan base. They include Nottingham Forest, Bristol City, Bolton Wanderers, Millwall, Hull City and Newcastle United. The report states: "For many years now the fans of Brighton and Hove Albion have been subjected to a barrage of homophobic abuse from visiting fans and have experienced similar behaviour when attending away matches. "At the start of this current season (2012/13), the Brighton & Hove Albion Supporters' club teamed up with the Gay Football Supporters' Network.They jointly resolved to tackle the issue. "In order to do this effectively, and hopefully catalyse action by the authorities, they embarked on an awareness raising campaign. "They collected evidence on the nature of the chanting the Brighton fans have been subjected to." The report details allegations of homophobic abuse throughout this season. At the December 1 clash at Selhurst Park, Eagles fans are said to have sung chants including "We can see you holding hands". The report says a complaint was made by Brighton supporters but no action was taken at the time. A senior Eagles steward is said to have been reprimanded by CPFC for failing to take action. At the March 17 fixture at the Amex Stadium, Palace fans are again said to have chanted "We can see you holding hands" and "You're q---- and you know you are". Chris Basiurski, chairman of the Gay Football Supporters' Network said: "We hope this report will demonstrate clearly the level and nature of homophobic abuse that is so frequently targeted at Brighton supporters and as this report shows, they are on football's front line in the ongoing fight against homophobia. "For us the issue is really simple. We firmly believe that the levels of abuse demonstrated in this report would not be tolerated if the abuse was of a racial nature and nor should it be tolerated here. "We reject as false any suggestion that these chants amount to banter in the same way that 'banter' relating to a person's skin colour is unacceptable. "Nobody should be subject to ridicule over their actual or perceived sexual orientation and we are horrified that it has been tolerated, excused and ignored in relation to Brighton supporters for so long. It needs to stop." A CPFC spokesman said: "Crystal Palace FC are committed to fighting all forms of discrimination in the game, including homophobia. We were disappointed to learn of the details of the report which stated that Brighton supporters have been subjected to abuse in more than half of their matches and, as one of the 29 clubs (from 92 in the Premier and Football League) supporting Football v Homophobia, take those claims very seriously. The club do not tolerate racist or homophobic chanting at Selhurst Park and will continue to work with the relevant bodies to eradicate behaviour like that from football grounds."

Crystal Palace fans accused of homophobic abuse in official report


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