Amid the recent incidents, the FA said in a statement: “Today, the FA has formally written to all clubs across the Premier League, EFL, National League, Women’s Super League, Women’s Championship and Steps 2-4, to remind them that it can pursue formal disciplinary action against any club whose supporters engage in discriminatory behaviour, now including the use of the term ‘rent boy’.
“This important step follows the recent successful prosecution of an individual by the Crown Prosecution Service for homophobic abuse, specifically relating to the term ‘rent boy’.
“The FA has now informed all clubs that it considers the ‘rent boy’ chant to be a breach of the FA Rules. These rules apply to the conduct of supporters at both home and away fixtures, and clubs at all levels of English football have a responsibility to ensure their spectators behave appropriately when attending matches.”
The statement added: “The FA takes all allegations of discrimination extremely seriously and would encourage anybody who has been subject to, or a witness of incidents of discrimination, to report it to the FA, the club or the relevant authorities so it can be investigated thoroughly.
“Together English football can drive meaningful and positive change so that stadiums can be a safe and enjoyable environment for all.”
Home Office figures, as reported by the PA News agency, say that during the 2021/22 season, there were 106 reported incidents of hate crime towards sexual orientation.
Such a number was a staggering increase of 186 per cent from the 2018/19 season, when there were 37 incidents.
The recent news shows that the FA are now set to take a stand against any future cases of homophobic chanting in English football.