15th February 2020

Environment Two West Ham fans arrested for alleged homophobic gestures

Environment Two West Ham fans arrested for alleged homophobic gestures

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environment West Ham

West Ham let a two-goal lead slip to draw 3-3 with Brighton on Saturday

Two West Ham fans have been arrested after allegedly making homophobic gestures towards Brighton supporters.

The pair have been released by police under investigation following Saturday’s 3-3 draw, watched by a crowd of nearly 60,000 at London Stadium.

Reports of homophobic abuse have been made at several clubs this season.

In December, police were contacted on social media to report chanting by West Ham away fans directed at Chelsea supporters at Stamford Bridge.

On Saturday, a West Ham fan was also arrested on suspicion of assault although this is not being directly linked with the other arrests.

“Two male West Ham fans were arrested on suspicion of making homophobic gestures,” a Metropolitan Police spokesperson told BBC Sport.

“One male (also a West Ham fan) was arrested on suspicion of common assault.

“They were taken to east London police stations where they were subsequently released under investigation. Enquiries continue.”

‘Disgusted’ West Ham to impose life bans on any offenders

In a statement, the club said: “West Ham United is disgusted to hear of alleged homophobic incidents at the game against Brighton & Hove Albion. The matter is now with the police but anyone found guilty of acting in a discriminatory manner will be banned for life from London Stadium and from travelling with the club.

“The club is unequivocal in its stance – we have a zero-tolerance approach to any form of discrimination. Equality and diversity is at the heart of the football club and we are committed to continue ensuring that everyone who enters London Stadium is free to enjoy watching their team play football in an inclusive environment.”

In January, one home supporter and one visiting fan were ejected from Brighton’s Amex Stadium during the match against Chelsea for alleged homophobic abuse towards opposing fans.

In December, Brighton said that two visiting supporters were arrested on suspicion of homophobic abuse during the home match against Wolves.

And some Everton fans were alleged to have directed homophobic chants towards Chelsea fans during a 3-1 win at Goodison Park in December.

Millwall’s match against Reading in the Championship in January was halted briefly by the referee after reports of homophobic chanting.

However, Millwall said a “thorough and exhaustive” investigation had produced no evidence to support the claims and the club was “outraged” by some media coverage which they believed implied guilt.

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