Words: Alastair James; pictures: Pexels:
Cheltenham Town FC has said that it is "saddened" by the homophobic abuse that was on display by some spectators at its game over the weekend against Charlton Athletic.
While the incident is being dealt with by police, the club has reminded fans that they have "a zero-tolerance policy to discrimination of any kind". The club's LGBTQ supporters network, the Proud Robins, have also commented on the incident adding they are "bitterly disappointed".
In a statement following the game on Saturday (15 January) a statement was put out reading: "We are saddened by the incident, which is being dealt with by the police. We will not be making any further comment at this time."
"Discriminatory abuse is a hate crime"
In a tweet, the Proud Robins said: "We are bitterly disappointed to hear reports of homophobic abuse at today's Match. Discriminatory abuse is a hate crime and any person using it is not a fan and needs to face the full consequences."
We are bitterly disappointed to hear reports of homophobic abuse at today's Match. Discriminatory abuse is a hate crime and any person using it is not a fan and needs to face the full consequences.— ProudRobins (@ProudRobins) January 15, 2022
We are working with @CTFCofficial, @CAFC_PV @CAFCofficial in this matter. https://t.co/wMciJLsZ4d
It added it is working with Cheltenham Town, Charlton Athletic, and the latter's LGBTQ supporters group, Proud Valiants, who tweeted the same statement.
Sadly, it wasn't the only football match over the weekend to be marred by homophobic abuse.
Wycombe Wanderers, Oxford United, and Thames Valley Police are reported to be investigating reports of homophobic comments from fans in the away stand during a game on Saturday.
BBC Sport reports that the home goalkeeper, David Stockdale, heard the comments, which police say came from "a very small minority" of fans. Police told the broadcaster that reports will be taken seriously and they're working with both clubs as part of the investigation.
In a statement, Wycombe Wanderers said they are investigating "a small number of incidents which occurred throughout the day in relation to discriminatory abuse, pitch incursions and crowd disturbances."
Earlier this month, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea football clubs called out homophobic abuse aimed at Chelsea players. A similar incident took place in December, again aimed at Chelsea players, as well as another last August.
The Attitude February issue is out now.