United Kingdom: Ban on abusive chants by football fans



United Kingdom:

Ban on abusive chants by football fans

The British football club Tottenham Hotspur has vowed to ban fans guilty of offensive or abusive chanting. The Scottish government is currently considering a law about it.

A football match between English Premier League and London arch-enemies Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur saw a minority of fans taunt Togolese striker Emmanuel Adebayor about the gun attack on his national football team before the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola in 2010.

In a rare moment of unity between the two sides a joint press release was issued which stated:

“[We] were extremely disappointed to hear the chants from supporters. Neither club tolerates foul language, racist chanting, homophobic chanting or any anti-social behaviour from its supporters. We shall be working closely with each other to identify the individuals involved.”

Tottenham Hotspur added they would ban fans who were involved.

The line between offensive and witty
Ben Wyatt, CNN Digital Sport Producer, commented the statement saying, “The fans were rightly admonished for their actions, and some would argue this is a good precedent to set for a game which has seen fans from both teams – who both have a tradition of Jewish support – subjected to notorious songs about Nazi gas chambers down the years. The difficulty with the precedent for football more widely is in the determination of what constitutes an offensive song and a passionate, if witty, chant? How many soccer fans could honestly say they have never crossed the line?”

Up to six years in prison
The Scottish government is currently considering a law that would ban the singing of offensive songs at football matches. A six-year prison sentence could follow for anyone found guilty. Read more…

Disappointed, not surprised
Emmanuel Adebayor said he was disappointed but not surprised by Arsenal fans’ bad singing about him.

“If I can survive the bullets in Angola then a few mindless insults will have little impact,” he was quoted as saying.

Emmanuel Adebayor

United Kingdom

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Search: “Emmanuel Adebayor” + “Tottenham” + “Arsenal” + “chants”


CNN – 4 October 2011:

‘Can football chants ever go too far?’

BBC News – 2011:

‘Tottenham vow to ban fans over offensive chants in Arsenal game’

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