Premier League statement: Action against football tragedy abuse

7 Nov 2023

League gets backing of Margaret Aspinall for launch of education resources to help children understand impact of tragedy-related abuse

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The Premier League strongly condemns all forms of football tragedy abuse and was appalled by the chanting heard at Sunday’s match between Luton Town and Liverpool FC.

We, alongside clubs, The FA and EFL, continue to treat offensive tragedy-related chanting, gesturing and displaying of abusive messages as an unacceptable issue and are committed to working together to address it as a priority.

New tough measures were introduced at the start of this season, which mean people who are found to have committed offences face stadium bans and potential criminal prosecution.

This applies to abuse occurring in stadium or online. Action has already been taken this season, with incidents investigated and bans issued. 

Football tragedy abuse causes significant distress to the victims’ families and other football supporters.

As part of the package of measures announced at the start of the season, the Premier League will launch education resources to help children understand the hurt and impact of negative behaviour such as tragedy-related abuse.

See: What are the new measures on football tragedy abuse?

From Monday 13 November, this in-classroom lesson will be made available to more than 18,900 primary schools and 66,000 teachers in England and Wales as part of the Premier League Primary Stars programme. 

The resource is supported by Liverpool supporter Margaret Aspinall, former Chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, whose son James tragically died at Hillsborough.

See: Premier League Primary Stars Action and Reactions resources

Margaret participated in a video to explain the hurt caused by tragedy abuse as she urges people to report any incidents.  

Margaret said: “Football brings so much joy to so many people all over the world, but there is no need for people to be chanting in the way they do.

"The pain it causes is unbearable; we do not deserve to hear these chants, they hurt just as much as losing your child.

"If you hear that chanting, go to a steward, report it as, through the proper authorities, you can change things.

"Anything that offends or hurts anybody is never acceptable.”

See: Leeds fans and legends call for end to tragedy chanting

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