(Adds statement from Everton.)
(Reuters) – The English Football Association (FA) is investigating allegations of homophobic chanting by Everton during Friday’s 3-1 FA Cup third-round loss to Manchester United.
Some supporters were heard using homophobic language towards Everton manager Frank Lampard, who had previously played and managed for Chelsea, according to British media reports.
An FA spokesperson said, “We are adamantly opposed to all forms of discrimination and strive to ensure that our games are a safe environment for all. This is true diversity. and to challenge hate behavior on and off the pitch,” an FA spokesperson said.
In a statement to British media, United said: “Homophobia, like all forms of discrimination, does not exist in football. We are proud of the work we have done to reduce such cases.”
Everton added that homophobia does not exist “in our stadiums, clubs, communities or games”.
In a statement to Reuters, Everton said: “The club has a zero-tolerance policy against any form of discrimination and welcomes the FA and Manchester United’s statements.
The chant was also called out by Manchester United’s LGBTQ+ supporters group ‘Rainbow Devils’, who tweeted: ‘We are banning Frank Lampard’s provocation with illegal and homophobic chants from some of our fans. We strongly condemn and call on clubs to take action.
“I urge[United]to do everything in their power to identify the culprits and deal with them in the strongest possible way.”
Everton were ruled out of the FA Cup after Conor Cody canceled out Anthony’s opening goal, but regained the lead for United with the ball in their own goal before Marcus Rashford’s second-half penalty ruled. .
Earlier this week, Nottingham Forest said they were investigating allegations of homophobic chants directed at Chelsea supporters during the 1-1 Premier League draw. (Reporting by his Aadi Nair, Nashik, India; Editing by Christian Radnedge)