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Nottingham Forest condemn ‘concerning’ and ‘offensive’ chanting during draw with Chelsea

Nottingham Forest have took to condemn ‘concerning’ and ‘offensive’ chanting by a minority of fans during the 1-1 draw with Chelsea.

The Premier League clash on New Year’s Day saw some supporters at the City Ground sing what has been deemed homophobic chanting after going behind to a Raheem Sterling strike that hit the back of the net.

The incident was reported and Forest subsequently released a statement via their Twitter account, saying: “The Club are aware of reports concerning chants aimed at Chelsea supporters from a minority of fans this evening and do not condone any type of discriminatory or offensive behaviour.

“The matter will be fully investigated.”

@ChelseaPride_ wrote: “We totally condemn the Chelsea Rent Boy chant that can be heard at the city ground. Time to call this out the game is live on @SkySportsPL. This is now classed as a hate crime. #NoToHate #RetireTheChant

@LGBTQTrickies said: “From all genuine #NFFC fans, please accept our apologies, not only do we hope
@NottPolFootball will do their best to take action, we would hope @NFFC release a statement condoning this and take necessary action. We are embarrassed and ashamed.

“We’re tired of trying to explain to the uneducated why the chant is wrong on all levels, we’re not tired of fighting for equality and inclusion. We have a problem and an issue when our own fans think this type of chant is acceptable and it makes us question how welcome we actually are at our own club.

“We are grateful and appreciative of the work @NFFC will put into this, hopefully stewards and the wider safety team will be educated on it for the future too.

“We more than appreciate the work @NottPolFootball do and how they support us also. But today has shown that if nothing else, some of the fans have helped call this behaviour out as unacceptable. Groups like ours, @ChelseaPride_ @PrideinFootball etc work tirelessly to ensure inclusion for us all. We thank you for your support too.”

The game saw right-back Serge Aurier have great comopsure to cancel out Raheem Sterling’s goal with a fine equaliser.

The 1-1 draw means it’s the first point Steve Cooper’s side have taken after going behind this season and extends their unbeaten home run to six games in all competitions.

Nottingham Forest goal scorer Serge Aurier speaking to Sky Sports: “I’m happy for the team to start the year like this. The second half we deserved more than one point but we fight together.

“We’ve started well and now we have to continue and fight to get points and stay in the Premier League because that is the objective of the club.”

Forest captain Ryan Yates: “He [Steve Cooper] just said ‘believe in yourselves more’ – the first 20 minutes we were too passive we gave them way too much respect. We were a goal behind and we needed to give the fans something to get out of their seats for.

“We were quite tired towards the end we put so much into that first 60 minutes but we’re pleased. We still need to be better we’re not happy with always drawing games at home but it’s a step in the right direction.”

Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper speaking to BBC Match of the Day: “Don’t take fans for granted, earn their support week in week out. If we can do that, we can make this a tough place – that’s all in our control.

“On the away form, we won’t shy away from things we need to improve on or make excuses. Our performances have not been at the level required to earn points away from home. No elephants in the room we tackle things head on and away form is something we need to look at. Everything we do at the moment is about us, how we grow the team, the spirit and identity. I know we didn’t win today but it was a good reference point that we can play against the big teams in the league. We’re in control of our destiny and we have to keep building.

“I see things happening both ways, we have to ignore people saying ‘oh here’s Forest again’ and look at the squad. We can and want to improve and the squad, we carry on with our work, really enjoying working with these players and the spirit is excellent. They are committed to what we want to do.”

Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper speaking to Sky Sports: “Tactically we were really good in the game just not aggressive enough with press in first half. We waited a bit too long before we went after the ball, you can’t do that against Chelsea. But you’ve got to go after it at the right time.

“We were unlucky with the [Chelsea] goal, it hits the bar and could go anywhere and drops onto Raheem’s [Sterling] right foot. We were more aggressive second half with press and duels. We were the better team for me over the course of the game. Even first half we still created the better chances of the half. On the basis of that a point is the least we deserve. We should take a bit spirit from the performance and a bit of internal credit for the work the players are doing.

“You want to try and win every game especially here, you have to respect the opponent and they have world class players all over. But we had good impact, good chances and the real saves in the game were in the Chelsea goal not in ours and the goal they did score was slightly unfortunate. The goal was never coming. The change was believing in the press and we showed more quality and sustainability up the pitch.

“We should be pleased we were the better team and we should’ve won but we didn’t. We will take the learnings from it.

“It’s step by step, we’ll never look too far ahead. We have Southampton now who have had an extra rest day more than us and we have to travel there. All focus on recovery now, a few things went against us today as well that seems to be the norm but that got the atmosphere going in the stadium.”

Business in the January transfer window? “Hope so – I’ll work day by day with the players coming through the training ground and trusting the club to get to work. If there’s some things, you say it through gritted teeth because of the summer, Forest signing players again but we’ve picked up some injuries to key players and that was that. If we can add the right players in the right positions we want to do that.”

Chelsea boss Graham Potter speaking to Sky Sports: “Hard earned point, against a team that are set up well they put us under pressure second half. Our performance level wasn’t good enough to take the three points. We didn’t move the ball fast enough, not enough movement. But it would’ve been unfair to take the three points.

“When the game became a bit more out of control we suffered with the duels and struggled to deal with that aspect. It’s a tough game, Forest played a good game but we’re disappointed with our performance over the 90 minutes and concerned we didn’t deserve the win.”

On Forest: “They did well. It suited better them better than us and we have to improve that. They attack spaces so well, all of a sudden a mistake and they have some real pace with the false nine dropping in it can cause you problems. It’s never comfortable but we can do better.”

On transfer window: “Until someone has told me they have been signed it would be unfair of me to comment. I’ve been focussed on the team today.”

On top four hopes: “For us it’s about the next game and trying to improve, we have a long way to go so it would be a mistake to think about what could happen in five months time. We need to be more consistent. It would help to get players back, the key ones and then you can build consistency in key places.”

Chelsea boss Graham Potter speaking to BBC Match of the Day: “It was overall below par for us. You have to credit Forest, they did what they did well. We didn’t do well enough when we had control. Not easy to create against Forest because they can defend deep and attack spaces well. We can improve that. We suffered in the second half so in the end it’s a performance we’re not happy with, we have to accept the point but we are disappointed.

“It’s always disappointing to concede how we did, watching the game we weren’t in control at that point anyway. As much as I’m disappointed with the goal that’s not the reason we dropped points, our overall performance wasn’t good. We have to be honest and try to improve.

“The substitutes came on and helped us. [Mateo] Kovacic gave us more control in midfield and Hakim [Ziyech] had some good contributions. Performances from subs was positive, [Conor] Gallagher was unlucky with the chance so there were some things but we’re disappointed.”

On top four hopes: “It’s always tough because you have a lot of big teams with lots of top players and coaches. We need to focus on the next match but clearly we have a long way to go.”

This is what fans had to say as Nottingham Forest condemn ‘concerning’ and ‘offensive’ chanting during the draw with Chelsea…

@meuwolboos: a “minority” of fans? no, it was a large number of fans and unfortunately i could hear them clearly. it’s disgusting and the club knew this was going to happen, so you should have made a statement before today’s match.

@nevjamo: Audible on the television…reading through the thread on this, you also watched it on the television & if you didn’t hear it, you are either deaf or had the volume on ‘mute’

@meuwolboos: this is most definitely true. i heard homophobic chants coming from the entirety of the Lower Bridgford Stand and A Block, as well as a few in the Upper Trent End where i sit.

@Guv_1905: You could hear it all over the TV the chant is actually a hate crime in law,I know it’s hard to control and it’s not just your supporters so good luck with stamping it out,at least you have acknowledged it 👏👏

@CraigJenkins_: Minority of the fans? Came through pretty loud and clear on TV

@OliverSmith92: I mean… it did happen, and its a shame. We should know better, especially on Sky because now all that’ll happen is the club get sanctioned. Unlike all those supposed offensive chants against Liverpool.

@IsaacMRosenthal: Really bad look, super audible on the broadcast. Hoping for a stronger statement from the club than this. Get that shit out of the game.

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