FA investigates alleged homophobic abuse after Morecambe player sent off

The Football Association is looking into the circumstances surrounding the red card shown to Yann Songo’o in the match between Morecambe and Tranmere on Saturday with allegations that homophobic language was used.

The Morecambe player was sent off in the League Two match, and the FA is investigating the matter.

If the player is charged, he could face a six-to-12-match ban for an aggravated breach of Rule E3 that states participants in football “shall at all times act in the best interests of the game and shall not act in any manner which is improper or brings the game into disrepute or use any one, or a combination of, violent conduct, serious foul play, threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting words or behaviour”.

His club said: “Morecambe Football Club would like to stress that it abhors abuse of any sort, be it be on the grounds of race, colour, religion, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, age, disability or sexual orientation.

“We are awaiting the final report on Saturday’s match before making any specific comment on the incident. A further statement will follow when we have received that report.”

Rover & Out, an LGBT fan group connected to Tranmere, tweeted on Sunday: “We stand side by side with our club and with players and football fans in showing zero tolerance for homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and other forms of discrimination on the pitch, in the stands and everywhere.

“We are proud of our players’ response in immediately recognising the language was unacceptable. We would like to thank the referee, [Paul Howard], who acted swiftly to remove the player from the pitch and will be contacting him to express our gratitude for his decisive action.

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“We will be writing to Morecambe FC to raise our concerns that this incident took place and request information on what they will be doing to avoid such conduct in future.”

Kick It Out said it supported Rover & Out’s statement. “There is no place for homophobic language in football. It is damaging and hurtful. As role models, players in particular should be mindful of the impact of their words.”


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