Failing to secure a win despite playing against only ten men for the entire second half was not the only disappointment to come out of Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea yesterday. For the second time in three weeks, some Liverpool supporters were heard directing the “Rent Boys” chant at Chelsea players.
Liverpool FC condemned the use of this chant after its use by fans in the traveling Kop during the club’s opening win over Norwich City. Within the next few days, manager Jürgen Klopp discussed the inappropriate, homophobic chant with the founder of Kop Outs, where he reiterated that there is no place for hateful, offensive chants in football.
Unfortunately, there were enough responses from people who refused to acknowledge that the chant is homophobic that it’s not entirely surprising to hear that a small group decided to bring it out again with Chelsea at Anfield yesterday. In response, the club has again released a statement condemning the use of the chant.
The statement reads:
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.
Incidents of abuse or discrimination, either online or in person, can be reported to the club at www.liverpoolfc.com/reportabuse.
Reports can also be made via @MerPolCC, by calling 101 or via the Merseyside Police website.
When writing about the club’s statement after the Norwich incident, I mentioned that I thought the club should have sent a clear message that they would identify and ban anyone who engaged in these chants. While this statement has more teeth than the one released after Norwich, it’s still relatively weak.
Clearly, the first statement did not send a strong enough message. They had a chance to correct that with this one, but instead, they have chosen to go with vague statements about following the fan code of conduct and working with authorities to identify those involved.
A very clear message needs to be sent that anyone engaging in these disgusting chants will be banned from attending matches. Until Liverpool FC sends that message and actively shows they are serious about banning these fans, they are simply not doing everything they can to put an end to this.