Football fans warned of crackdown on chanting about Man Utd and Liverpool tragedies

 The Crime Prosecution Service will punish fans who are found singing ‘tragedy chants’  
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The Crime Prosecution Service (CPS) has announced measures to crack down on ‘tragedy chanting’ in football. Fans are being warned they face being banned from football matches – and next year’s Men’s European Championships – if they commit tragedy-related abuse. 

Over the years, incidents of ‘tragedy chanting’ have involved Man Utd fans and supporters of rivals Liverpool. The Munich Air Disaster and the Hillsborough disaster are two of the tragedies fans have been found to be singing about. 

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The new guidance, which assists prosecutors when making legal decisions on cases, set out how lawyers can apply for Football Banning Orders which not only stop fans attending matches, but also can impose other restrictions, such as not being able to travel to certain areas, or be allowed in pubs at game time and travel during tournament times.

One of the more recent instances of this was a Man Utd fan who was arrested at the FA Cup Final in May for wearing a shift mocking the Hillsborough Disaster. James White wore the shirt with the number 97 and the words ‘Not Enough’ printed on the back. 

Douglas Mackay of the CPS said: “A small minority of so-called fans are both damaging the reputation of the sport and more importantly this offending has a devastating impact on the families of victims of tragedies and the communities connected closely to these events. This updated guidance sends the clear message that this vile behaviour will not be tolerated. We want supporters to passionately enjoy our national sport without crossing the line into criminality."

Football Association Chief Executive, Mark Bullingham, said: "Tragedy related abuse is completely unacceptable and has no place in our game. This behaviour is highly offensive and can have a lasting effect on the families, friends and communities who have been devastatingly impacted by these events. We welcome the new guidance from the Crown Prosecution Service to tackle incidents of this nature – which could lead to football bans and potential criminal proceedings."

A fan was arrested at the FA Cup Final in May for wearing an offensive Hillsborough shirtA fan was arrested at the FA Cup Final in May for wearing an offensive Hillsborough shirt
A fan was arrested at the FA Cup Final in May for wearing an offensive Hillsborough shirt
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Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: “We strongly believe there is no room for abhorrent tragedy abuse in football. Along with our clubs and the authorities, we are committed to sanctioning those found guilty and will also focus on educating fans of all ages, so they understand why this abuse is so hurtful and unacceptable.”

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