6 Oct 2011

Vile Football Chants Must Stop

One thing has sprung to my mind recently that has to be eradicated from our football terraces, it's the abysmal and sickening chants that people use against race, religion, and the deceased.

One name springs to mind recently who has felt the cruel harsh wrath of the terraces and that is Tottenham's on loan striker Emmanuel Adebayor. Now I am not Adebayor's biggest fan, but it's hard not to feel sorry for him when you hear the supporters that once sang his name singing that they wished he had died, in reference to when the Togo national team's bus came under a gunfire attack on the way to the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola.

In my opinion wishing somebody dead is wildly overstepping the mark massively. It also seems that from a supporters point of view it's perfectly fine to abuse a footballer for 90 minutes but when it comes to that same player giving a bit back, it's not acceptable and that player is guilty of inciting the crowd or even a riot.

In 2009 when playing for Manchester City against his old club Arsenal for the first time, Adebayor came in for 90 minutes of dogs abuse from his old supporters. They chanted songs about his family and booed his every touch, however he had the last laugh scoring a goal and then galloping the length of the pitch before falling to his knees to celebrate in front of the travelling fans who had sang the vile chants about him and his family. Adebayor was booked for his "over the top" celebration but I remember thinking "fair play to him", he answered them back by letting his football do the talking even if the celebration was a bit extravagant to say the least !

Being a Manchester United supporter I have grown up with the sickening slang terminology of being labelled a "Munich" by many Manchester City fans I know and communicate with through social network sites. The term "Munich" being a reference to the Munich air disaster in 1958 in which 23 lives were cruelly taken away. But this does not stop Man City fans using the term "Munich" flippantly when referring to Man Utd fans. In fact I would go as far as to say that you will hear these chants at the majority of City's games. It's a total lack of respect chanting about the deceased and shows a certain small club mentality. Apart from the FA cup final win last season this is the only thing City fans have had to sing about over the last thirty plus years, they sing it because they  know it will spark a reaction from the opposition supporters.

My examples of vulgar chants have come in the form of racial and singing about the deceased, but another form is sectarian. This is big in Glasgow between the big two clubs Celtic and Rangers. This actually covers religion, something that has nothing to do with football. Celtic fans wave Republic of Ireland flags and sing songs that agree with the actions of the IRA (Irish republican army) who have killed many innocent people. Rangers fans wave union jack flags and sing songs that show their support for unionist groups that have also killed innocent people, all of which has absolutely nothing to do with football in anyway at all.

It's up to the clubs to make a firm stand over these chants that are plaguing our terraces, the same terraces that have children who are the next generation of football supporters that will represent our club in the future both home and away. We have CCTV so let's use it and punish the culprits, in most cases I understand it is a small minority of people. The FA and FIFA also need to step up efforts to abolish these chants.

I am not naive enough to think these chants will just suddenly come to an end, but it is a football clubs duty to try and do everything they can to prevent or even reduce this behaviour for the good of football. Chants can be hilarious when used in the correct manner, but can also be so shocking and disrespectful that you would have to clean your eras out to make sure you are actually hearing what you know is being said.

At the end of the day these chants are nothing to do with football, they are simply aimed at the players and opposition supporters to get under their skin and provoke an angry retaliation. I am sure I speak for most people when I say that we do not want these chants in our family orientated stadiums.


@kevinashford7