Chelsea welcome FA action on 'rent boy' chant

Chelsea welcome FA action on ‘rent boy’ chant with fans who use the homophobic term now at risk of a criminal charge… as governing body investigate Man City, Man United and Nottingham Forest supporters for singing it

  • Football Association has warned fans they could now face criminal action
  • Homophobic term is predominantly aimed at Chelsea players and supporters
  • A Liverpool fan was convicted earlier this month for using that specific term
  • FA are looking into claims Man City, Man United and Forest fans chanted it
  • Chelsea have welcomed the FA’s tougher stance as ‘a step in the right direction’ 
  • SPECIAL REPORT: Stats show surge in offensive chants at football matches 

Chelsea say the Football Association announcement warning clubs they could now face disciplinary action if their fans sing the ‘rent boy’ chant is ‘a step in the right direction’.

The FA has always condemned the use of the homophobic term – which is predominantly aimed at Chelsea, their players and their supporters – but until this week has never felt able to charge clubs whose fans chant it.

That changed when the FA learned of the conviction of a Liverpool fan last month for using that specific term, and so on Wednesday it wrote to clubs warning they could now be penalised.

Chelsea have welcomed Football Association action on the homophobic ‘rent boy’ chant

There have been several occasions recently when Chelsea fans and player have been targeted

Chelsea welcomed the move and added: ‘The ‘rent boy’ chant is intolerable and has no place in football or anywhere else.

‘That opposition clubs can now face disciplinary action if their supporters engage in this discriminatory and offensive behaviour is a step in the right direction. 

‘Everyone who chooses to participate in this chant must know their actions have consequences.

‘Alongside our No To Hate campaign, we will continue to work with the FA, the CPS, opposition clubs, and our own LGBTQI+ supporter group Chelsea Pride in the pursuit of positive change. 

The ‘rent boys’ chant was allegedly heard at Chelsea’s recent league fixture at Forest  

The FA is investigating alleged homophobic chanting by Man City fans in their FA Cup victory

‘There is plenty more work to be done, but we won’t rest until football is a game where everyone feels welcome.’

The Crown Prosecution Service classed the use of the term as a hate crime at the start of last year, but it took the conviction of Reds fan Paul Boardman in December for the FA position to change. 

Boardman was heard chanting the offensive term on his way to Wembley for last season’s FA Cup final against Chelsea and refused entry to the match.

Former Chelsea player and manager Frank Lampard was also allegedly subjected to the chant at Old Trafford during Everton’s FA Cup tie against Manchester United 

The FA had already been investigating three cases where the chant was heard at matches played this month prior to Wednesday’s announcement.

Two of those involved matches played by Chelsea – their league game away to Nottingham Forest on New Year’s Day and their FA Cup game away at Manchester City – and the other was the FA Cup tie between Manchester United and Everton, where the chant was targeted at Everton manager Frank Lampard, a former Chelsea player and manager.

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