GUEST BLOG - Lindsay is a football fan and blogger based in Manchester. Here she talks about her views on homophobic chants during an FA Cup reply game featured on national television.
Blue Square South side Woking earned a reply against Brighton and Hove Albion on November 16, the game was televised live in ESPN. Four goals in a two-all draw, then three penalties sufficed for Brighton to go through.
Nothing out of order there you might think, but those like myself who pick up on the ever increasing amount of discrimination in the game these days and who watched the coverage or who attended will have a lasting memory of the abuse given out throughout the night from the home fans.
The abuse has been picked up and highlighted on a number of football websites and blogs by fans of both teams, but this is an all too common a tale of what goes on at many of today's matches.
A number of flares and smoke bombs were thrown onto the pitch and "run from the students, you only run from the students." was chanted at the police and security presence, this may have been the witty start of things but as is all too common when BHA play the opposition fans just can't help themselves to shout homophobic abuse and chants.
The cards may well be governed by conference rules and regulations, rather than the FA regs there are in the top four professional leagues (the ground quite possibly coming under nothing more than a public area) but surely its time their own administration took action against those who saw fit to disrupt the evenings entertainment as it wasn't a one off.
Homophobic chanting could be heard quite clearly on the TV coverage, as well as by those at the game.
"We can see you holding hands" and "Does you're boyfriend know you're here" Followed by "Do you take it up the ####" and "Does your father know you're QUEER" were order of the day.
Tame you may think to some of the chanting of abuse around someones sexuality but this comes only days after two well known names in the professional game from Croatia have stated "there will be no homosexual players on the team while i am in charge" - comments which should see UEFA (under pressure from gay rights groups and the likes of EGLSF and FARE) finally make a stand against this type of discrimination that adorns football globally.
Administrators of the game in the FA, PL, FL, PFA, LMA along with the REFS ASS, and government, police and fans need to clampdown on this behaviour in every way they can so that anyone regardless of sexual orientation feels safe and comfortable to play, coach and watch football in which ever environment they chose.
FOOTBALL IS NOT EXCLUSIVE; FOOTBALL IS FOR ALL.
Read more of Lindsay's thoughts at http://justaballgame.blogspot.com