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Fans fight, chants condemned, knee stance booed, player hit by bottle in Millwall v Crystal Palace

Millwall v Crystal Palace sees fans fight, a bottle hits a player, chants were condemned and the knee stance got heavily booed.

The Premier League outfit’s Michael Olise was struck by a bottle while homophobic chants were directed at team-mate Conor Gallagher at The Den on Saturday.

Palace recorded a 2-1 victory over Millwall in the FA Cup third round, however it was marred by unsavoury scenes in and out of the ground.

It was in the second half that Olise was hit by a bottle thrown by the crowd in the second half, captured live on TV, while Gallagher was subjected to taunts throughout the match.

A flare was thrown onto the pitch from the Crystal Palace fans in the away end and firecrackers were set off also by the travelling support.

Prior to kick-off, Palace’s players were booed by some fans when they took a knee before the south London derby.

And video evidence shows a flare up between fans outside the stands with police forced to intervene before both groups were separated.

Millwall have released a statement, confirming that they intend to launch an investigation following the match.

“Millwall Football Club has a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of discrimination and will investigate any incident of alleged abuse accordingly. As is club policy, any individual found guilty of discriminatory abuse is issued with an immediate lifetime ban,” said a club spokesperson.

Millwall manager Gary Rowett and Palace boss Patrick Vieira both condemned the incidents.

“I don’t think either of the clubs want to see any of those moments off the pitch but I am sure both will deal with those situations effectively,” Rowett said.

Vieira added: “We as a football club are against any kind of discrimination and of course this is not something we want to see on the field.”

@ProudandPalace tweeted: Always brilliant to win a South London derby. Just a shame that it came with disgusting homophobic chanting from the home fans. Good to see the club condemn it, but actions speak louder than words and we suspect not a lot will be done…

This isn’t the first time Gallagher has been subjected to homophobic chanting, as at the start of the campaign, Liverpool sung the same to Norwich’s Billy Gilmour, also earlier this season, Leeds United condemned fans after they chanted the same offensive song at Gallagher during their 1-0 win over Palace in the Premier League on the 30th of November.

Three weeks ago, Everton condemned ‘unacceptable’ homophobic chants of ‘Chelsea rent boy’ from some of their own fans during their Premier League draw against Blues at Stamford Bridge.

And this week, Tottenham did the same in criticising their own supporters for directing it at Chelsea players.

Edleen John, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Director at the FA, says the governing body abhors the “disgusting” use of the ‘rent boy’ insult and is determined to drive it out of the game.

Talking with Sky Sports News, the slur was comparable to racist abuse, and it is understood that the FA is working with the authorities to get the phrase reclassified as discriminatory.

“We absolutely do condemn the use of the word ‘rent boy’. It’s really negative, it’s not welcoming, it doesn’t create a sense of belonging, and frankly it’s disgusting,” John told Sky Sports News.

“We have to understand that ‘rent boy’ is on the same level [as racism].

“What we have to do is get to a place where the police and CPS systems view it in that same way so that the actions can be taken that we want to see across football and more broadly.

“That’s why we continue to work with groups, day-to-day constituents and individuals, the police, and the CPS to make sure that that information is there, that the terminology is really understood and that we can really drive it out of football.”

Kick It Out reporting racism

Online Reporting Form | Kick It Out

Kick It Out is football’s equality and inclusion organisation – working throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change.

Twitter users reacted after seeing fans fight, chants condemned, knee stance booed, a player hit by a bottle in Millwall v Crystal Palace…

@himoveryonder: ITV commentator saying how Millwall not taking the knee is nothing to do with racism actually, only for their fans to boo the Palace players taking the knee. They won’t even pretend, so why should we pretend there isn’t an ugly racist culture around that club?

@OSeanoreilly66: @MillwallFC Tell me this and tell me no more, is being a homophobic, racist, knuckle dragging moron passed on from generation to generation of Millwall fans?

@massiveclub1980: Watched Millwall v Palace today. Millwall fans need banning from stadiums, absolutely not okay to physically assault black players and make monkey noises at them, absolutely vile and disgusting, FA needs to sort it out. COYI ⚒ No racism in Football

@louisAslatter: Millwall fans really shown their true colours today , absolute joke of a club #cpfc

@paulwradio: In terms of football ****housery & confidence this season, absolutely nothing will beat scoring a worldie & setting up the other at Millwall for one of their London rivals, & then responding to the famously violent home fans throwing bottles at you with “lol send more, lads”

@EzeeT: I swear commentators switch off their humanity when they get on the mic. For f**k’s sake, guys, it’s okay to sympathize with players sometimes.

@bomikey24: Wtf is wrong with people I’m so sick of idiots tossing bottles how about we go to your work and toss bottles at you??

@b_t_jones: I’m all for cheering for your side/team & even “giving it” to the opposing team but this kind of 💩 is ridiculous, childish & uncalled for. Whoever throws a bottle or anything for that matter should be banned from the stadium

@TalkCPFC: As if Dean Ashton blamed Palace players for Millwall fans racism, homophobia and physical abuse. Ignoring the blatant bias throughout the game, that is so so poor

@MikeDFD: Millwall are constantly doing this and get away with it all the time

@TwoWheeledAndy: Some Millwall fans booing the Palace players for taking the knee. Some things never change do they? Every club has its rotten supporters and Millwall clearly still have more than most.

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