Sunday 28 May 2017

Homophobic John Terry song sheets handed out to West Ham fans

Chelsea's John Terry (left) during the EFL Cup, round of 16 match at the London Stadium
Chelsea's John Terry (left) during the EFL Cup, round of 16 match at the London Stadium
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

West Ham supporters attending Wednesday night’s EFL Cup game against Chelsea were handed a lyrics sheet and encouraged to join in with a homophobic chant to be directed at Blues captain John Terry.

Terry has long been the subject of abuse from rival supporters, with West Ham fans especially vitriolic towards a player who has been the symbol of the rise of their local rival over the last 12 years.

The childish song was printed on sheets that were handed to West Ham fans making their way to the Olympic Stadium.

Of course, the scenes of violence between West Ham and Chelsea fans during the game at the London Stadium were far more significant that any immature actions of a handful of Hammers supporters encouraging abuse of Terry.

Coin throwing from Chelsea supporters is reported to have sparked fighting between rival supporters that the police and stewards were unable to control.

This after both clubs urged supporters to refrain from violence ahead of a game that was always likely to be a huge test of the fragile stewarding structure at the venue that was used to host the showpiece events of the 2012 Olympic Games.

With supporters from both sides being directed towards one mainline tube stadium at Stratford after the match, scenes of violence are reported to have continued outside of the ground after West Ham’s 2-1 win secured their passage to the EFL Cup quarter-finals.

As West Ham’s landlords, London Stadium chiefs are responsible for the stewarding and policing at the venue, with the UK taxpayer footing the bill for security measures.

London’s Metropolitan Police expressed huge reservations over deploying their officers at games in the London Stadium last month due to “unsatisfactory radio coverage” inside the stadium, with violence breaking at most West Ham home games this season.

Football Association chiefs are investigating the latest ugly scenes during the Chelsea match, with the derby clash against Arsenal to London Stadium in a few weeks set to be the next potential flashpoint home fixture for the Hammers.

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