A Forest Green player has been left disgusted with alleged homophobic abuse said to him by a Tranmere Rovers footballer at the weekend.
The League Two club from Gloucestershire say one of their players was the victim of alleged homophobic abuse during Saturday’s 2-1 win over the Merseyside outfit.
FGR will support an FA investigation into the incident, while Tranmere say that their player strongly denies the allegation.
A Forest Green statement read: “Forest Green Rovers are disappointed to hear of alleged homophobic abuse aimed at one of our players during Saturday’s game with Tranmere Rovers.
“With football clubs and organisations switching off social media accounts in a collective protest against online abuse by fans, it was especially disappointing to have this occur on the pitch.
The Super White Army wrote: “Tranmere Rovers Football Club are aware of the allegation made against one of our players by an opposition player during last weekend’s match at Forest Green Rovers.
“The allegation is strongly denied by the player in question.
“Whilst the Club has a zero-tolerance policy to any form of homophobic abuse, given the strong denial of the incident we will await the outcome of any FA investigation before commenting further.”
⚽️ We’re hugely disappointed to learn of an incident of alleged homophobic abuse in Forest Green’s L2 game vs Tranmere on Sat. We trust the incident will be investigated thoroughly by the @FA.
— Sports Media LGBT+ (@SportsMediaLGBT) May 4, 2021
It comes after a Tranmere player was hurt at a comment made by Morecambe’s Yann Songo’o during their League Two match.
The fixture was marred by the incident with details emerged that it was down to the use of a disgusting homophobic slur.
It came following a foul that left one of Tranmere’s players injured and requiring treatment, a huddle involving the duo from both teams formed, when Songo’o can be shockingly heard saying ‘faggot’.
Songo’o was suspended for six matches after using a homophobic slur in a match and apologised for his actions, asking for forgiveness.
He was charged with improper conduct by the FA with a further aggravated breach of the rules because the language included “a reference to sexual orientation”.
Songo’o admitted the charge and after a hearing by an independent regulatory commission he was given the minimum suspension of six games. Songo’o had to undergo face-to-face anti-discrimination education.
Songo’o said: “I’d like to offer a sincere apology for any offence I’ve caused. I’m really disappointed in myself for using that term, because it does not reflect the type of person I am but it was under provocation.
“I’m totally against any form of discrimination and I know what I said was totally unacceptable, I can only apologise and ask for forgiveness to anyone I offended.”
Morecambe said the club “fully accepts the findings of the FA hearing” and reiterated their opposition to any sort of abuse. “We are a community-based family club that has high expectations of its players and staff and Yann’s behaviour fell short of those expectations in this instance.
After the incident, which was called out on the field by Tranmere’s players, the club’s LGBT+ fans group Rover and Out said it was “proud of their players’ response in immediately recognising this language as unacceptable”.
“Many people still use homophobic terms … without thinking that what they are saying has an impact on those around them and without realising that what they are saying or, in fact, hearing, is homophobic.”
Fans reacted after a Forest Green player was disgusted with the alleged homophobic abuse…
@Gidsentinel: “The allegation is strongly denied by the player in question” Backed to the hilt. Can’t imagine how easy it is to mishear, especially with sledging that goes on. Given our players reaction when “faggot” was uttered, you fancy common decency. Up the inclusive Tranmere
@Graham_SZN: Some of the response to this is disgusting. Same every time. Always pulling out the “alleged”. Until we wipe this mentality, there will 100% be discrimination in football
@theonejoeyd: So not only are we serving up shite but we’re not even practicing what we preached after Morecambe. Can’t wait for this season to end
@matthayesthfc: A Tranmere player was the victim of this a few months ago. The players and club dealt with it very well (Morecambe’s Yann Songo’o got a 10 match ban for his actions). Now a Tranmere player could be guilty of the very same thing. It’s disgusting really.
@MattyRobbo24: Incident at the beginning of the match from our corner with Manny and one of their players maybe? Their player looked very wound up over something
@Mikeasaurus85: We rightly fought for the Morecambe incident. Let’s fight just as hard for this. If found guilty, punish him hard and don’t hold back
@scottyfroggatt: Potentially last game Manny plays for us as well. Not his smartest move if evidence concludes something was said
@JenniferRober14: If this is true I’m fucking done. Absolutely no place for this. Always admired how inclusive we are and hearing this is absolutely devastating.
@ZaaanderSmith: Oh dear. We pushed for punishment for when it happened to one of our players at Morecambe then we go and do the same.
@Jakey_Boyz: That’s why Stokesy was so angry at Manny then. Not to say it was him it could’ve been from anyone, but disgraceful none the less. What’s the point in a blackout if it’s still happening on the pitch as well.
@Carys_Ingram: There’s so much we have to do to #KickItOut, this is NOT good enough in today’s game.
@kitcub: Never stops does it? We’ve so much to do. Especially disappointed to hear this involved Tranmere, who have their own LGBTQ+ supporters group, so really should be better than this. Good to see @FGRFC_Official #TakeAStand though
@Seagie85: You would have thought Tranmere would know better considering how disgusted they were with Yann Songo’o.
@JohnHeggie1: Wow a very serious statement and fans still mention hill pathetic
@chrispaouros: We’ve got so much to do. Good to see @FGRFC_Official #TakeAStand
@FGRFC_Official have taken a stand. We MUST do more, extremely disappointing to hear any form of abuse coming from a player. How do we educate the fans and community when we can’t even educate those playing the game in an influential position?🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ #EnoughIsEnough #KickItOut https://t.co/I8bSisVNSk
— Proud Swans (@ProudSwans) May 4, 2021
The replies to this from Tranmere fans — a club who had a player on the receiving end of abuse on the pitch this season — speak volumes. Of course the abuser denies it. They always do. But if it’s one of your own, that must mean they really are innocent this time, right? 🤷🏼♂️ https://t.co/Fb10qQ0d4e
— Bandwagon Fanzine (@BandwagonZine) May 4, 2021
Even during a collective social media boycott across football to raise awareness around abuse, it appears one player thought it was OK to use homophobic language towards an opponent in a L2 game on Saturday. Good to see steps taken here by #WeAreFGR 👏 #FvH2021 #TakeAStand https://t.co/8HyU2mZ99E
— Jon Holmes (@jonboy79) May 4, 2021
Let down by football, massively.
18 months and witnessed abuse twice, by the same club.
I’m feeling demotivated to fight for equality in the game at the moment. When will it stop? https://t.co/6wqNMBTYrj
— Conor Shaw (@ConorShaw) May 4, 2021