By Mark Mann-Bryans, PA
Arsenal have promised to take the “strongest action possible” after confirming two supporters were ejected from the Emirates Stadium for homophobic abuse during Saturday’s Premier League defeat to Brighton.
The fans were taken out of the ground after abuse was reported to stewards, with investigations under way to identify any further culprits.
“We have been made aware of incidents of homophobic abuse at our home fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday,” an Arsenal statement read.
Arsenal is for everyone
We are committed to acting on all reports of abusive behaviour
Please continue to help by reporting anything you see or hear 👇
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) April 13, 2022
“Arsenal should be a safe and welcoming environment for everyone, and we want to be clear that any kind of discriminatory abuse is not welcome at our club.
“We can confirm that two supporters were ejected from the stadium, and we stepped up stewarding operations in areas where abuse was reported.
“The incidents that were reported are now being investigated by the club, and we will take the strongest action possible against perpetrators who can be identified.
“We’d also like to remind supporters that homophobic abuse is a hate crime and punishable by the law. Please think before you chant.
Thanks to @arsenal for making this statement and to @OfficialBHAFC and all their fans who reported homophobic abuse.
If you ever witness homophobic abuse at games please let us know. https://t.co/F996krBL5d
— Gay Gooners (@gaygooners) April 13, 2022
“We’d like to thank those who came forward to report the incidents on Saturday. We can only address this kind of abuse with the help of our fans as allies.”
Gay Gooners, an official Arsenal supporters club and LGBT+ group, welcomed the stance, tweeting: “Thanks to @arsenal for making this statement and to @OfficialBHAFC and all their fans who reported homophobic abuse. If you ever witness homophobic abuse at games please let us know.”
Arsenal lost 2-1 as Brighton ended their seven-match winless run and dented the Gunners’ hopes of a top-four finish.