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Tuesday 12 December 2017

Kilbane reports disabled chants by hammers

Ex-Ireland star lodges complaint with the FA

Former Ireland international Kevin Kilbane has made an official complaint to the English FA Football Association after West Ham fans allegedly used insulting language mocking disabled people.

Hammers fans are reported to have chanted "Harry Kane talks like a m**g and plays like one too", during the 2-2 draw against Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

The word "m**g" is a derogatory slang term for people with learning disabilities.

Now a radio and TV analyst, Kilbane was at the Spurs-West Ham game in question but was informed of the language by a close friend and has since contacted the FA.

Kilbane's 10-year-old daughter, Elsie, has Down's Syndrome, and the former Sunderland, Everton and Wigan winger is a patron of the Down's Syndrome Association charity.

"I am sure they understand they are causing offence. You cannot sweep it under the carpet and label it as ignorance. It is visible and clear and like racist or homophobic chanting, it is intended to cause offence," said Kilbane, who has campaigned and raised funds on behalf of Down's Syndrome charities in the UK and Ireland.

"I want to be able to take my kids to football matches and when Elsie gets older she will understand about her condition and I would not want her to hear that kind of chanting. If her sister Isla heard it, she would be devastated too, as my friend's sons were.

"I spoke to him and he was extremely upset and I felt I had to report it. No family should have to put up with it at football matches.

"It was very clear and sadly it appeared to be from a large number of West Ham fans in the ground. This was not isolated to a handful of people.

"This is a wider society problem, not just a problem with football and idiots are using football as a tool to show their ignorance and discrimination.

"I have spoken to the FA and they have assured me they will investigate it thoroughly. In all my time playing and watching football, I have never heard this before. Hopefully we can do something to make sure it isn't again and this awful chant does not spread."

Kilbane's allegations come just a day after Tottenham called for tough action against fans who were shown on a video clip chanting an anti-Semitic song.

The video, filmed by a passenger on the London Underground, appears to show West Ham supporters chanting anti-Semitic songs.

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