Jurgen Klopp urges end to homophobic chants

Jurgen Klopp has told Liverpool supporters he does not want to hear any further homophobic chants as he labelled those who targeted Norwich midfielder Billy Gilmour as ‘idiots’.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 5:00 pm
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp applauds the fans after the pre-season friendly match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Monday August 9, 2021.

Liverpool won 3-0 at Carrow Road tomorrow in their opening Premier League game of the campaign but the victory was marred by chants aimed at Gilmour, on loan at the Canaries from Chelsea.

Choruses of “Chelsea rent boy” could be heard from the away section, with Liverpool quick to condemn the chants after the game, labelling it “offensive and inappropriate”.

Klopp sat down with Paul Amann, the founder of Liverpool LGBT+ fans group Kop Outs, on Thursday to express his dismay at the abuse and call on supporters to stop such chants.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I never understand why you would sing a song if it was against something in a football stadium,” Klopp said in an interview on Liverpool’s official Twitter.

“I never got that. I never liked it. In our case we have probably the best songbook in the world.

“It’s easy to decide not to sing the song any more. So, we can decide now, this is not our song any more, so I’m not sure if people listen to me but it would be nice.

“I don’t want to hear it any more, for so many reasons. We obviously live in a time where we learn a lot in the moment.

“I’m 54 now and when I was 20 we said so many things which we didn’t think about. And meanwhile, thank God 34 years later we learned it’s just not right to say.”

Klopp also suggested such chants do not help him on the touchline or the players on the pitch do their job and was not impressed with those who sang at Gilmour.

“From a player or coach perspective, I can see these songs don’t help as well as it’s like a waste of time,” he added.

“It’s definitely a waste of time because I hear in the stadium when they start singing ‘Bobby Firmino’, ‘Mo Salah’, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.

“This kind of stuff, that gives you goosebumps and a push, the other songs are completely a waste of time and if you think (believe) what you sing, you are an idiot.

“It’s just a waste of time, forget it and go for another song.”

Following last Saturday’s match, a statement on Twitter from anti-discrimination organisation Kick It Out said: “We are disappointed that only two weeks into the English football season, we have already seen numerous incidents of discrimination at stadiums up and down the country.

“The use of the term ‘rent boy’ in chants by a portion of Liverpool fans at Carrow Road was unquestionably homophobic and has no place in our game. We have also had reports of incidents at other games and are awaiting further clarification.

“As always, we thank those who reported these incidents to us, and urge fans to do the same if they witness discrimination of any kind in football in the future. We will continue to liaise with all relevant clubs and the football authorities to identify and hold accountable those responsible.”