The Football Association have reportedly launched an investigation after six fans were arrested for homophobic chanting during Chelsea’s win over Preston last month.
The Championship side travelled to Stamford Bridge for the FA Cup third round clash at the start of January. But the Blues’ dominant 4-0 win was marred by the use of the ‘Chelsea Rent Boy’ chant by Preston supporters.
The chant was classified as a homophobic hate crime by the Crown Prosecution Service at the start of 2022. A Liverpool fan was fined £500 and denied entry to the 2022 FA Cup final after being caught singing the chant.
The FA has the ability to charge and sanction clubs if their supporters are heard chanting homophobic songs. Despite that, the chant has continued to be heard, most recently during Chelsea’s win over Preston.
According to the Mirror, the FA have launched an investigation into that incident, which remains ongoing. If that investigation results in Preston being charged and found guilty, the Championship side face a huge fine.
Wolves became the first club to be fined for homophobic chanting last July, with Leeds also sanctioned a month later for the same offence. Both clubs were also placed into an action plan to deal with homophobic abuse by the commission which rendered the judgements.
The news of the FA’s investigation comes after Preston confirmed six supporters had been arrested specifically for homophobic chanting at Stamford Bridge. The Championship club warned they would continue to take “serious action” against abusive fans.
Chelsea’s LGBT+ supporters group Chelsea Pride have welcomed the news of the FA’s investigation, which comes at the start of FootballvHomophobia’s Month of Action. The group insisted that a stand needs to be taken to stamp homophobia out of the game.