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Anorak | Banning homophobic chanting is the latest attempt to make watching football an indecent joyless experience

Banning homophobic chanting is the latest attempt to make watching football an indecent joyless experience

by | 2nd, September 2013

THE Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have  issued guidelines  warning fans that they would pursue a robust prosecution policy against homophobic chanting.

Already “racialist or indecent chanting at football is a criminal offence under s ection 3 of the Football Offences Act 1991 .

In Scotland, the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act 2012 has made sectarian chants at football a criminal offence punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment.

So. Is chanting “Does your boyfriend know you’re here?” at Brighton fans a “hate crime”.

The guidelines seeks to clear up any misunderstanding:
“We recognise, as do the overwhelming majority of decent fans, that there is a place for humour in football, but where the line between humour and offensive behaviour is crossed then positive action will be taken.”
Some “decent” fans don’t think there is room for humour in football.
And who patrols the humour/offence frontline, then? Who says what is and what is not funny or offensive?
Nick Hawkins, lead sports prosecutor at the CPS has a measure:
“We’ve seen a welcome rise in recent years in the numbers of families attending football matches together as a result of friendlier atmospheres inside grounds, and that’s a trend that we’d all like to see continue.”
I for one really enjoyed live football because the experience of standing on the terraces was raw, abusive and vulgar. Chanting that Paul Gascoigne was “fatter than you and me and going to Italy” was a joy. Having the “wings of a sparrow and the arse of a crow to shit on

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Posted: 2nd, September 2013 | In: Sports Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink

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