Page last updated at 14:51 GMT, Monday, 17 March 2008

Fans banned after racist chanting

Bloomfield Road
A small minority at Bloomfield Road were involved

Nine Blackpool fans have been banned by the club after racist and homophobic chanting during the Lancashire derby match with Preston North End.

Club officials reacted after complaints about the behaviour of a minority of both sets of fans on Saturday.

The nine supporters have been banned from Bloomfield Road for at least 12 months, the club said.

Lancashire Police said they arrested two people on suspicion of a racial public order offence during the game.

Complaints poured in to a phone-in on BBC Radio Lancashire from supporters angry at some of the chants heard during the game.

Club secretary Matt Williams said the club was taking the matter seriously.

Matt Williams
Matt Williams said the club would not tolerate racism

"We're not going to tolerate any kind of chanting - either homophobic or racist," said Mr Williams.

"We pride ourselves at Bloomfield Road being a family environment for people to come and enjoy football.

"We're fully behind the Let's Kick Racism out of Football campaign and our manager Simon Grayson is a patron of the Show Racism the Red Card scheme.

"We don't want it, there is no place in society for it - let alone at a football match."

Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston told BBC Radio Lancashire: "It's wrong and people have to be told it's wrong.

"We've tried through programme articles and PA announcements on matchdays to point out that this behaviour is unacceptable and won't be tolerated."

He added: "We've not had problems particularly with this sort of thing in the past and on the whole our support is absolutely fantastic both home and away.

"I don't condone them at all, but you hear these sort of chants all the time at football matches."




video and audio news
Fans' reaction to chants at Blackpool FC



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