Liverpool have condemned supporters who sang homophobic chants aimed at Chelsea during Saturday’s Premier League match at Anfield.
Last week, Jurgen Klopp urged supporters to put an end to the offensive chants after Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour, on loan at Norwich, was targeted with the words ‘Chelsea rent boy’ during Liverpool’s 3-0 win at Carrow Road on August 14.
Liverpool immediately branded the chant as “offensive and inappropriate” – something they also did in April 2019 when it was heard widely at Anfield during their 2-0 win over Chelsea.
The Reds took on Chelsea again, also at Anfield, in the Premier League on Saturday and despite Klopp making it clear homophobic chanting has no place in football, some fans chose to ignore him.
Following the 1-1 draw, Liverpool released the following statement: “Liverpool FC is disappointed by reports that a small section of our supporters were heard singing offensive songs during Saturday’s fixture with Chelsea at Anfield.
“The club strongly condemns these actions and will be investigating all reported allegations of abusive and/or discriminatory behaviour with the relevant authorities to identify perpetrators.
“LFC is committed to tackling abusive and discriminatory behaviour, which has no place in football or society.
“As part of its Red Together campaign, which encompasses all the club’s work on equality, diversity and inclusion, LFC strives to be the forefront of the fight against all forms of discrimination both online and in-stadium to create an inclusive environment for all.
“The club would like to remind its fans of its code of conduct, which clearly outlines what it expects from all supporters visiting Anfield.”
Wolves captain Conor Coady says any footballer who is LGBT+ and wants the support of a fellow professional can always rely on his allyship.
Coady was speaking at Friday night’s British LGBT Awards where he was named the recipient in the inaugural Football Ally category, a one-off award being made to highlight the lack of visible representation of male professional footballers who are gay or bisexual.
The England international has been a strong supporter of Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign for LGBT+ inclusion in sport in recent seasons, not just wearing the rainbow captain’s armband but using his voice to raise awareness of the challenges that continue to be faced by fellow players who may want to be more open about their sexuality.
During last year’s annual activation, Coady took part in a special Football Association event alongside Stonewall FC skipper Jay Lemonius, hosted by Sky Sports News’ Mark McAdam, which explored the symbolism of the armband and the value of inclusive leadership.
McAdam presented the 28-year-old with the award at the event held at The Brewery in London.
Coady said: “I’m very honoured to accept the Football Ally award, and very flattered to have been selected amongst such a high profile and exceptional list of nominees.
“Despite being humbled to receive this award, I have to say that the support I have given to the LGBT+ community is not anything over and above what any ally should give, and is only what I think anyone in my position should be able to offer.
“As I’ve said before, and I will say again, I am always there for any footballer who wants the support of a senior professional, and an ally, if they want to take the next step on their personal journey to come out as LGBT+.
“I want to reiterate that every single person, no matter their gender or sexuality, deserves to be themselves no matter what path in life they choose to take.
“I hope we can soon get to a day when a football player feels supported enough to be their true selves on the football field, but until that day, we all have some work to do.”
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