FA inform Leeds United of rule change in relation to 'discriminatory chanting'
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It follows a recent, successful prosecution on the grounds of homophobic abuse relating to use of the term ‘Rent Boy’, which has been heard at a number of football grounds.
A statement from the Football Association reads: “The FA has formally written to all clubs across the Premier League, EFL, National League, Women’s Super League, Women’s Championship and Steps 2-4, to remind them that it can pursue formal disciplinary action against any club whose supporters engage in discriminatory behaviour, now including the use of the term ‘Rent Boy’.
“The FA has now informed all clubs that it considers the ‘Rent Boy’ chant to be a breach of the FA Rules. These rules apply to the conduct of supporters at both home and away fixtures, and clubs at all levels of English football have a responsibility to ensure their spectators behave appropriately when attending matches.”
Leeds United have previously condemned chants by the club’s fans, directed at Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher, vowing to assist anti-discrimination organisations in identifying and punishing homophobic fans. Commenting in 2021 following the incident, a Leeds spokesperson said: “We are aware of a homophobic chant directed at a Crystal Palace player and we want to be very clear that this is unacceptable.
“We will continue to work closely with Marching Out Together and all of our supporter groups to ensure that we do everything within our power to eradicate homophobia and any other form of discrimination from our football club.”
Leeds LGBTQ+ supporters group Marching Out Together have also called out supporters engaging in such behaviour on the terraces, in particular following alleged abuse of Chelsea loanee Izzy Brown in 2019, as well as the Gallagher incident two years later, which they described as ‘unarguably homophobic’.
The group tweeted: “For those @lufc fans who abused @izzyjaybrown yesterday with “Chelsea Rent Boys” chant: it is homophobic & offensive. There were LGBT Leeds fans standing next to you who felt angered & threatened. Support our club with passion always - but no need for this.”