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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 September 2006, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK
Football club tackling homophobia
Withdean Stadium
Some away fans at the Withdean Stadium shout homophobic chants
Brighton and Hove Albion FC is calling on the Football Association (FA) to step up its efforts to tackle homophobic abuse among crowds at games.

The club launched its own awareness campaign with an article in Tuesday night's match programme, entitled "Homophobia - Time for Action".

It has reported more complaints about homophobic chanting aimed at its fans.

Chief executive Martin Perry said: "We get abuse and some of it is frankly totally and utterly unacceptable."

The FA has been working with clubs on combating homophobia in football crowds, with Mr Perry speaking about the issue at a recent conference.

The chants are obscene... and we need to deal with it
Martin Perry, Brighton and Hove Albion FC

Brighton and Hove Albion's statement of commitment to the campaign said: "We fully support the Football Association's initiative on homophobia, which aims to promote a tolerant footballing society and to make the spectator experience as exciting and all-embracing as possible."

Mr Perry said: "The chants are obscene and when you've got young children and women, then it's not acceptable and we need to deal with it."

He has suggested a number of measures to the FA regarding best practice for everyone associated with football clubs.

Pc Darren Balkham, Sussex Police Football Liaison Officer, added: "We just want the clubs and the stewards to be empowered by the FA to take action."


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