Brighton Fans Report Homophobic Abuse

Brighton fans have released a report sent to the Football Association detailing incidents of homophobic abuse from rival supporters.

The Seagulls are regularly the subject of taunts which relate to the city's large gay community.

In the dossier, compiled by the Brighton and Hove Albion Supporters' Club in conjunction with the Gay Football Supporters' Network, it is claimed Brighton have been victims of homophobic taunts from the fans of 72 per cent of their opposition this season.

There has been abuse in 70 per cent of the club's away games, and 57 per cent of their total matches.

The report also contained allegations against Blackburn striker Colin Kazim-Richards, a former Brighton player, who was reported to the police and the FA over alleged homophobic gestures made during their game in February this year.

Such chants are often dismissed as 'banter' but the BHASC and the GFSN have called on the footballing authorities to take tougher action.

Chris Basiurski, chairman of the GFSN, said: "We hope this report will demonstrate clearly the level and nature of homophobic abuse that is so frequently targeted at Brighton supporters and as this report shows, they are on football's front line in the ongoing fight against homophobia.

"For us the issue is really simple. We firmly believe that the levels of abuse demonstrated in this report would not be tolerated if the abuse was of a racial nature and nor should it be tolerated here.

"We reject as false any suggestion that these chants amount to banter in the same way that 'banter' relating to a person's skin colour is unacceptable.

"Nobody should be subject to ridicule over their actual or perceived sexual orientation and we are horrified that it has been tolerated, excused and ignored in relation to Brighton supporters for so long. It needs to stop.''

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