Homophobic chanting at football grounds should be dealt with as severely as racist behaviour, a Government minister has said.
Lib Dem Communities Minister Stephen Williams MP said any vocal gay prejudice amongst supporters should be met with ‘zero tolerance’.
Mr Williams, who represents Bristol West in Parliament, called upon the Police, the Football Association and stadium security workers to clamp down on homophobic discrimination among fans strongly.
MP Mr Williams told The Bristol Post : ‘We need to stamp out homophobia on the terraces with the same vigour that we banished racism.
‘It isn’t acceptable that footballers still feel the need to hide their sexuality out of fear of abuse.
‘I want homophobia to be treated with zero tolerance just the same as racism and I want clubs, stewards, the police and FA to work even harder to achieve this aim.’
He added that football clubs across the UK had done a great job at cracking down on fans’ racism since the 1970s.
But the minister, who is the Lib Dems’ first openly gay MP, added: ‘I want homophobia to be treated with zero tolerance just the same as racism and I want clubs, stewards, the police and FA to work even harder to achieve this aim.’