Recent seasons have seen clubs and law enforcement look to crack down on and limit tragedy chanting and other anti-social behaviors around the sport.
Ahead of Liverpool’s visit on Saturday, Wolverhampton Wanderers have published a statement intending to make the club’s position clear, and reminding supporters of the legislation now in place to punish such anti-social abuse.
In addition to reminders about the legislation, the club issued the following reminder to fans:
“Furthermore, engaging in discriminatory and offensive chanting or other verbal or non-verbal actions or gestures concerning football or other tragedies (whether done at a match, in-person or remotely – via any electronic communication, social media or otherwise) is in contravention of Wolves’ Acceptable Behavior Policy.”
The new legislation affects those in the ground and acting remotely via social media, and those found to be in breach of the policy can face banning orders (from the club and football more widely) and/or criminal prosecution, which may include financial punishments (especially for severe or repeat offenders). There is also a new rehabilitation program aimed at restorative justice and changed future actions:
“To support the rehabilitation of those identified as having engaged in negative matchday behavior, a new pilot scheme is now in the development phase which will refer young people to a restorative justice education program that will seek to inform and educate about the impact of their behavior on others.
The scheme is being delivered by a number of bodies, including the Premier League, EFL, Premier League Community Fund and the EFL Trust with support from local police forces and will be trialled at ten clubs across the Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two.”
Though it’s depressing that such things are necessary, it’s good to see clubs becoming involved in enforcement of something which often seemed to fall predominantly on the shoulders of the club whose supporters were being victimized. Further, having a unified front is a great advancement, as the recent past saw action limited to individual clubs willing to take action.