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Police investigating alleged homophobic chanting by West Ham fans

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By Reuters
Police investigating alleged homophobic chanting by West Ham fans
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v West Ham United - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - November 30, 2019 Chelsea's Christian Pulisic in action with West Ham United's Declan Rice Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley   -   Copyright  JOHN SIBLEY(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – Police are investigating allegations of homophobic chanting by some West Ham United supporters during their team’s 1-0 Premier League win at Chelsea on Saturday, the BBC has reported.

Official LGBT+ supporters’ groups of both clubs — Pride of Irons and Chelsea Pride — said on Twitter that they had witnessed continuous discriminatory chanting directed towards Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge and reported it to West Ham.

The BBC said on Monday that the Metropolitan Police were contacted on social media and are conducting enquiries. No arrests have been made yet.

West Ham issued a statement on Monday saying they do not condone any discriminatory behaviour by supporters.

“West Ham United in no way condones any behaviour that falls short of the highest standards which the club sets when it comes to equality,” a club spokesperson told Sky Sports.

“At London Stadium against Arsenal on Monday we will be celebrating and demonstrating the great work the club does to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for ALL supporters, including our LGBT+ fanbase, as part of our ongoing and unwavering support for the Rainbow Laces campaign.”

Football equality body Kick It Out tweeted that it had told the FA the chants were homophobic and had to be treated as such.

LGBT equality charity Stonewall said in a tweet that tackling anti-LGBT slurs was vital to make more sport inclusive.

Professional players across Britain will help promote equality and diversity during the next two rounds of games as part of the Rainbow Laces campaign, including using rainbow-coloured captain’s armbands and laces.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)