The Football Association could now charge clubs if their fans chant “Chelsea rent boy” during their club’s matches.
At Chelsea's most recent games against Manchester City and Nottingham Forest, the chant was loud.
At the Manchester United vs. Everton FA Cup match last week, the song was also directed at Everton manager and former Chelsea player Frank Lampard.
Although the FA has consistently opposed the use of the phrase, it has never felt comfortable bringing charges against clubs in the past.
According to the PA news agency, Paul Boardman's recent conviction for using the slur while traveling to Wembley for the FA Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea last year was a game-changer and allowed the FA to penalize clubs when fans are found to have used the slur.
According to an FA statement, the organization has officially written to all clubs in the Premier League, EFL, National League, Women's Super League, Women's Championship, and Steps 2-4 to remind them that it can take formal disciplinary action against any club whose supporters engage in discriminatory behavior, including the use of the term "rent boy," as of today.
An LGBTQ+ supporter group called Chelsea Pride tweeted the day of the game asking Sky Sports to call out the chanting on television and adding, "This is now categorized as a hate crime."
The LGBTQ+ Trickies organization in Forest expressed its "embarrassment and shame" over the abuse and apologized on behalf of those in charge.
According to Home Office statistics made public last year, there were 106 reported instances of hate crimes involving sexual orientation at games in England and Wales in the 2021–22 season. That was a rise of 186% over the 37 such instances documented in 2018–19, the final full season before the Covid–19 pandemic.
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