Why FA and police must come down hard on disgusting chants and abuse.

Joss

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Like everyone else lucky enough to be at White Hart Lane last Wednesday night, I enjoyed the North London derby immensely.

It was a mesmerising match between two fine attacking sides, played at a relentless pace in a rousing atmosphere and peppered with brilliant goals.

But one thing spoilt it for me. One memory I took away from the game polluted all the others. I’ve tried but I still can’t get rid of it.

Arsene Wenger had become increasingly agitated as the second half progressed and midway through it, the Arsenal boss leapt to his feet and moved out towards the *touchline.


As he stood there, Spurs fans began to chant at him. “Sit down you *paedophile,” they screamed, over and over again, “Sit down you paedophile.” It was not a minority, either. It felt like 35,000 people were singing it.

It made me feel sick. Wenger just stood there alone, the abuse raining down on him. What else could he do?

It has been going on for almost 15 years, ever since Wenger was forced to stand outside *Highbury’s marble halls and issue a denial to malicious and unfounded rumours that originated in London’s financial district.

And we have tolerated it all this time. We have turned a blind eye to it. We have become inured to it. Some have even laughed at it and made fools of themselves by excusing it as “banter”.

Banter? It is a strange kind of humour that seeks entertainment in perpetuating a vile lie and bombarding one of the most important figures in our recent football history with such an abhorrent calumny. Apologists for this particular chant – and, *surprisingly, there are many – seek to legitimise it by saying no one actually believes Wenger is a paedophile so it is okay.

Even if we put aside for a moment the fact the accusations once became so widespread Wenger had to humiliate himself by denying them publicly, it is a bankrupt argument.

Imagine for a second you are a father and thousands of people are screaming week after week that you are a paedophile. Does it make it any less sickening because you know you are not? Of course it doesn’t. It makes it even more repellent.

Isn’t it about time we stopped turning our faces away and did something about it? Have we no shame? Have we no decency? Surely, we have abandoned Wenger for long enough over this issue.

However well-*intentioned, it is no good Spurs making announcements to the crowd that there is a zero *tolerance policy towards racism and other types of abuse inside White Hart Lane.

A couple of minutes after they made one of those announcements last Wednesday, thousands of people were singing, “Sit down you paedophile”.

It is not just Spurs fans who sing it. Bolton supporters sang it when Arsenal visited the Reebok on Sunday. Manchester United fans, who will visit the Emirates this weekend, have sung it en masse.

United and Sir Alex Ferguson deserve some credit for doing their best to put a stop to the song with public pronouncements and text message pleas before games with Arsenal.

But the time has come for actions, not words. It is time we confronted the inconvenient truth that some of the chants at our football grounds are simply not acceptable.

We like to stare north of the border and congratulate each other on the depravity of Rangers and Celtic fans and yet we do not care to gaze inwards at ourselves.

The screening of the deeply moving BBC drama about the Munich Air Disaster on Sunday provided a reminder, if one was needed, that it is disgusting and vile for fans to glory in songs that mock that terrible tragedy and the many who died there.

It is disgusting and vile to sing songs about the Hillsborough Tragedy and add to the searing grief that the tortured families of the 96 who died there will always feel.

It is disgusting and vile for opposing supporters to taunt Spurs fans with songs about Adolf Hitler and Belsen and for Millwall supporters to wave Turkish flags at Leeds fans as a gleeful reference to the fans of the Yorkshire club who died in Istanbul.

We have to start ridding our grounds of this disease. This is not about the gentrification of football. This is not about trying to dilute the tribal culture of our game. I am as resentful of that process as anyone.

But it is time for the police to start going into crowds singing about Hillsborough or Munich or labelling managers paedophiles and making arrests.

It is time for clubs to start banning people from grounds for a season. If that doesn’t work, the FA needs to consider closing parts of a ground for a number of games as a punishment.

Things would change then, I promise you, and English football would be able to look itself in the mirror again instead of turning away in embarrassment.


Read more: Oliver Holt Manchester United Munich.. Liverpool Hillsborough.. Arsene Wenger Paedophiles.. Why FA and police must come down hard on disgusting chants and abuse - Oliver Holt - MirrorFootball.co.uk
 

ajt09

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Any sort of "song" about Wenger like that, or any "song" about Hillsborough, Munich is not a song. It's just a bunch of sick, heartless, twisted moronic idiots who are, in my opinion, not true football fans. If they were football fans, they wouldn't be mocking fellow fans who died, or players who died. They are scum, simple as.
But the sad thing is, I honestly feel they'll be impossible to stop, as more and more are starting to crawl out from under their stones and make themselves known. And if they were banned, what's to stop others taking their place. And if clubs in financial trouble had some stands closed, they would lose much needed income to ensure survival. Unfortunately, there's more cons to pros when it comes to this I think. And then of course, if they have kids, I can assure you I have a feeling they'll just continue in the future, where the parents left off. That's what puts me off going to matches. The sick chants or songs-it's poisonous and just beyond belief, and would just ruin it for me.
I'd dearly love to see all of this stop, but sadly I fear it's nothing more than a dream. I know people says it's ok to dream, but in this case I just wish it was reality.
 

sunilvk7

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Dec 16, 2008
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Its about time FA does something to stop this. It is not even banter that people like to hide behind. It is just sickening.

Rooney was abused in the West Ham game, not only him also his family. Who the **** will want to get all the abuses for over 2 hours.

Chants about wenger is pathetic. SAF and United have urged fans to stop singing those songs, hope they dont anymore.

Most retarded thing is mocking the dead and also tragedies. I dont want to point finger at any club as every club has their share of noobs, but what Liverpool supporters did at SOS is just pathetic. It was the night to remember one of the great servants of English football, but all we heard was "Munichs". Hope this will stop, but i dont think FA cando anything about it.

Oh and how people can take their kids to the stadium and sing those chants is beyond me..
 
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Joss

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Thing is that it isn't just at football grounds - it's everywhere and it's truly pathetic.

People saying it's just a joke and that nothing is meant by it should see what it feels like. The other thing is that it doesn't just affect one person, player or even one group - it affects completely "innocent" children, fans and team-mates at the same time... It's no different from racism at grounds for me and if that can be (more or less) kicked out of football, the FA should ****-well try to kick this out of football. And soon.

It doesn't even have to be as obvious as that, either - whether it's "Sit down, you paedophile!" or "Wenger's got Madeline McCann" or just comments/songs/shouts more discreet than that; just because he can't hear you, it doesn't make it acceptable for anyone on a forum or wherever to do it.
 

Sid

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I admit i have sung "with a packet of sweets and a cheeky smile, Arsene Wenger is a paedophile" never inside a ground though as QPR don't sing about Arsenal. I don't think it's as bad as Racism but it should be stopped but I don't think it will be for a long, long time as chants are a massive part of football games.
 

sunilvk7

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I dont know whether the Germans have these sort of insulting chants, but the atmosphere at Bundesliga pwns them all. I have never seen a better atmosphere anywhere (I dont watch South American leagues). And I dont think they mock any tragedy, insult other manager, player. Yes there will be few abuses thrown around but not ******* chants, chanting whole of the game.
Premier league can learn a lot from Bundesliga..
 

Joss

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I admit i have sung "with a packet of sweets and a cheeky smile, Arsene Wenger is a paedophile" never inside a ground though as QPR don't sing about Arsenal. I don't think it's as bad as Racism but it should be stopped but I don't think it will be for a long, long time as chants are a massive part of football games.
Why is it different? Because it's not a long-held view based on someone's gender, race, skin colour etc.?

It's insulting a group or individual for no reason at all. Just as black players find racist chants insulting, people like Wenger and families of those who died in Hillsborough or the Munich Air Crash are hurt (OK - maybe it's different but is it really that much worse?)

No one's wanting to stop chanting... Just offensive, mindless **** like what you've been signing and posted.

Like what I said before - what does it matter if you're in a ground (with/without Wenger) or saying it on a forum or whatever? The point still stands.

Also - some of the chants such as the one's directed at Spurs and Belsen etc. are racist. People see it as a joke - probably because they don't understand but it's never funny when it's directed at you.
 

Sid

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No I definately hold chants about Munich etc. as bad as racism but what I mean is when me and my brother quietly sing "with a packet of sweets..." to ourselves I don't think that is as bad as thousands of people making monkey noises at someone who is black
 

Joss

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No I definately hold chants about Munich etc. as bad as racism but what I mean is when me and my brother quietly sing "with a packet of sweets..." to ourselves I don't think that is as bad as thousands of people making monkey noises at someone who is black
Obviously not - what I'm saying is that on a more general level (like forums etc.) there's not a huge amount of difference and it doesn't make it any more acceptable just because the person it's directed at can't hear it.

The fact that it's spread to homes etc. is a sign of how bad it is - it isn't just a chant everyone jokingly sings - it spreads and people (however old or young) pick it up.

It doesn't make it "acceptable" for you to sing it within the comfort of your own home any more than it's acceptable to be overtly racist in a serious way in your own home.
 

Sid

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Obviously not - what I'm saying is that on a more general level (like forums etc.) there's not a huge amount of difference and it doesn't make it any more acceptable just because the person it's directed at can't hear it.

The fact that it's spread to homes etc. is a sign of how bad it is - it isn't just a chant everyone jokingly sings - it spreads and people (however old or young) pick it up.

It doesn't make it "acceptable" for you to sing it within the comfort of your own home any more than it's acceptable to be overtly racist in a serious way in your own home.
Yep, on other forums some of the abuse is disgusting like on a Millwall forum before they played us there was a whole thread dedicated to racial abuse to Taarabt. We are lucky on this forum to not have many sick people
 

Aannddyy

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Why is it different? Because it's not a long-held view based on someone's gender, race, skin colour etc.?

It's insulting a group or individual for no reason at all. Just as black players find racist chants insulting, people like Wenger and families of those who died in Hillsborough or the Munich Air Crash are hurt (OK - maybe it's different but is it really that much worse?)
But the difference is, [as ridiculous as this may sound] these players are actually black, hence why they are offended.. Wenger isn't a paedophile [as far as we know] so how could he possibly be offended. And as for people comparing it to chants about Hillsborough and Munich? Don't even go there.

"Arsene Wenger is a pedophile" is no where near the worst chant around and if this sort of thing really offends people then they should probably go watch rugby or something..
 

Joss

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But the difference is, [as ridiculous as this may sound] these players are actually black, hence why they are offended.. Wenger isn't a paedophile [as far as we know] so how could he possibly be offended. And as for people comparing it to chants about Hillsborough and Munich? Don't even go there.

"Arsene Wenger is a pedophile" is no where near the worst chant around and if this sort of thing really offends people then they should probably go watch rugby or something..
"Apologists for this particular chant – and, *surprisingly, there are many – seek to legitimise it by saying no one actually believes Wenger is a paedophile so it is okay.

Even if we put aside for a moment the fact the accusations once became so widespread Wenger had to humiliate himself by denying them publicly, it is a bankrupt argument.

Imagine for a second you are a father and thousands of people are screaming week after week that you are a paedophile. Does it make it any less sickening because you know you are not? Of course it doesn’t. It makes it even more repellent."

Sums up my thoughts about what you posted.

Obviously not as bad as Hillsborough or Munich or racist chants but that's no excuse.
 

CtPauley

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Jul 28, 2009
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^ Everything Andy said.

Plus City fans who sing Munich songs are retarded seeing as Frank Swift died as well.
 

GodCubed

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But the difference is, [as ridiculous as this may sound] these players are actually black, hence why they are offended.. Wenger isn't a paedophile [as far as we know] so how could he possibly be offended. And as for people comparing it to chants about Hillsborough and Munich? Don't even go there.

"Arsene Wenger is a pedophile" is no where near the worst chant around and if this sort of thing really offends people then they should probably go watch rugby or something..
Eh? That's like calling someone a complete ******* and expecting them not to care because it isn't true. Sure, logically it'd work like that, but in reality there is no way calling someone a paedophile is okay if he/she isn't.

No matter if it isn't the worst chant around, it is still disrespectful, rude, lying and a stain on football. I don't think it offends the majority of people listening, but the point is we're trying to clean up football and make it respectful and friendly, not a swearing, lying free for all.
 

cfc12345

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Its about time FA does something to stop this. It is not even banter that people like to hide behind. It is just sickening.

Rooney was abused in the West Ham game, not only him also his family. Who the **** will want to get all the abuses for over 2 hours.

Chants about wenger is pathetic. SAF and United have urged fans to stop singing those songs, hope they dont anymore.

Most retarded thing is mocking the dead and also tragedies. I dont want to point finger at any club as every club has their share of noobs, but what Liverpool supporters did at SOS is just pathetic. It was the night to remember one of the great servants of English football, but all we heard was "Munichs". Hope this will stop, but i dont think FA cando anything about it.

Oh and how people can take their kids to the stadium and sing those chants is beyond me..
Some West Ham fans can be sick. I went to the West ham v Burnley game a few months back with a few mates who support Whu and I was in the second row behind the goal Thomas Hitzlespeger scored in and a drunken fan next to me was encouraging his son who looked about 5 to shout out things to the Burnley keeper such as I shagged your mum last night and your nan has aids :s. It made me sick.
 

Joss

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Eh? That's like calling someone a complete ******* and expecting them not to care because it isn't true. Sure, logically it'd work like that, but in reality there is no way calling someone a paedophile is okay if he/she isn't.

No matter if it isn't the worst chant around, it is still disrespectful, rude, lying and a stain on football. I don't think it offends the majority of people listening, but the point is we're trying to clean up football and make it respectful and friendly, not a swearing, lying free for all.
Agree - plus in the same way Munich chants (although probably more so) offend and annoy Utd fans, mindless chants about Wenger offend and annoy Arsenal fans. We're not directly affected and as cruel as it may sound, neither are Utd or Liverpool fans - but it's about the club and their personnel - why should ANY of it be acceptable? Joke or no joke, true or not.

Some West Ham fans can be sick. I went to the West ham v Burnley game a few months back with a few mates who support Whu and I was in the second row behind the goal Thomas Hitzlespeger scored in and a drunken fan next to me was encouraging his son who looked about 5 to shout out things to the Burnley keeper such as I shagged your mum last night and your nan has aids :s. It made me sick.
Let's not make this into a "Who said what" thread - Probably easiest to avoid arguments if we stick to general terms rather than pointing the finger.
 

Sid

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At QPR V Derby, i was sitting in front of this bloke who was just swearing the whole game, it was so funny
 
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