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Apr 3, 2013

Brighton fans document abuse

The Brighton and Hove Albion Supporters' Club (BHASC) has claimed fans of the Championship side have been subject to homophobic taunts from 72% of the teams they have faced this season.

Brighton fans are targeted due to the significant gay presence in the area, and BHASC compiled a dossier in conjunction with the Gay Football Supporters' Network (GFSN) to document the abuse.

The report, which has been sent to the Football Association, claims there has been abuse at 70% of away games and 57% of their total games, and GFSN chairman Chris Basiurski believes action should be taken.

"We hope this report will demonstrate clearly the level and nature of homophobic abuse that is so frequently targeted at Brighton supporters and, as this report shows, they are on football's front line in the ongoing fight against homophobia," he said.

"For us the issue is really simple. We firmly believe that the levels of abuse demonstrated in this report would not be tolerated if the abuse was of a racial nature and nor should it be tolerated here. We reject as false any suggestion that these chants amount to banter in the same way that 'banter' relating to a person's skin colour is unacceptable.

"Nobody should be subject to ridicule over their actual or perceived sexual orientation and we are horrified that it has been tolerated, excused and ignored in relation to Brighton supporters for so long. It needs to stop."

The report also contains allegations about Blackburn player Colin Kazim-Richards, who played for Brighton between 2005 and 2006. The Turkey international was reported to police and the FA after fans claimed he made numerous homophobic gestures during a game at the Amex Stadium in February.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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