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Nottingham Forest investigating reports of alleged homophobic chanting during Chelsea draw

Serge Aurier’s goal claimed a deserved comeback point for Steve Cooper’s struggling side at the City Ground in the second top-flight contest of 2023 on Sunday, cancelling out a first-half effort from Raheem Sterling.

However, the result and a spirited display from battling Forest after the interval was overshadowed by suggestions of alleged homophobic chanting from certain sections of the capacity home crowd.

Forest were quick to acknowledge those reports after the final whistle, insisting they have zero tolerance for any discriminatory or offensive behaviour and pledging a full, swift investigation.

In a statement released on social media shortly after full-time, Forest said: “The Club are aware of reports concerning chants aimed at Chelsea supporters from a minority of fans this evening and do not condone any type of discriminatory or offensive behaviour.

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“The matter will be fully investigated.”

Chelsea’s official LGBTQ+ supporters group, Chelsea Pride, condemned the chanting heard in the first half of the televised fixture on New Year’s Day.

“We totally condemn the Chelsea Rent Boy chant that can be heard at the City Ground,” they said in a statement.

“Time to call this out the game is live on SkySportsPL This is now classed as a hate crime.”

Forest’s own LGBTQ+ group said it was embarrassed and ashamed by the alleged abuse.

A post from LGBTQ+ Trickies read: “From all genuine NFFC fans, please accept our apologies, not only do we hope NottPolFootball will do their best to take action, we would hope NFFC release a statement condoning (sic) this and take necessary action.

“We are embarrassed and ashamed.”

After Forest’s statement, they added: “Thank you so much @NFFC, we stand with our fellow supporters group @ChelseaPride_ in appreciating your support in helping to eradicate and educate this type of hate crime.”

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