Whether it’s Munich, Heysel, Hillsborough or Irish famine, each of these tragedies have had reference in football chants. Enough is enough – sound both authorities and supporters as they appeal not to use someone’s tragedy as part of football banter.
The “always the victims” chant may not sound too abusive when read without context, but when it comes right after recent discoveries regarding the Hillsborough tragedy and clearly refers to Liverpool supporters, it crosses the line.
The above is the sentiment expressed by both Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson and MUST – one of two largest supporter associations at Old Trafford. Both the famous coach and fans themselves appeal not to tolerate such abusive chants especially that they hit the grieving families in Merseyside, even if not intending to do so.
But references to Hillsborough aren’t the only ones present inside British stadia with Heysel, Munich and even the Irish famine being further examples how chants can be insensitive to human tragedy.
This is why Football Supporters Federation, UK’s largest fan organization, also calls to end this kind of behavior especially by fans, not by authorities, who may see such behavior as an opportunity to further restrain all supporters in general.
Being part of a football crowd in full flow is a great privilege but with that privilege comes responsibility. It is not an excuse to tolerate or join in with songs, chants, or gestures that can cause profound hurt to fellow fans and non-fans alike, reads FSF’s statement.