May 26, 2024

Luton has issued a warning to take stringent actions, including potential bans, against supporters involved in ‘tragedy chanting’ during the recent match against Liverpool. The Football Association and police have sought observations on taunts referencing the Hillsborough disaster. Liverpool has also inquired about the measures to be taken. Luton expressed sadness and extreme disappointment over the chants, condemning any divisive chanting. An internal investigation is underway, using CCTV to identify individuals who may face stadium bans and criminal charges.

Pressure mounted on Luton to address the issue following intervention from the FA and Liverpool. Luton’s statement, suggesting some fans may have chanted without understanding the full meaning, received a mixed response. The club apologized to those offended and pledged to work with supporter groups for education on chants deemed as tragedy abuse. The statement also apologized for the chants related to the Hillsborough and Heysel tragedies, emphasizing the need for communication and education.

Ninety-seven football fans died in the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989. Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool’s manager, did not hear the chanting but criticized it. The FA strongly condemned such chanting, vowing to collaborate with stakeholders to address the issue. Former Reds defender Jamie Carragher expressed disappointment, stating that while rivalry is expected, such behavior is unacceptable in the current world.

The Premier League also condemned the chanting, promising to treat it as a priority. Offenders could face automatic club bans and police referral. In June, a man received a four-year football banning order for wearing a shirt referencing the Hillsborough tragedy. New measures introduced this season can lead to stadium bans and criminal prosecution for those involved in tragedy-related offenses as part of the ‘Love Football, Protect The Game’ initiative.

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