Ex-Latics ace complains over offensive chanting

Kevin Kilbane
Kevin Kilbane

FORMER Latics ace Kevin Kilbane has lodged an official complaint with the FA over allegations West Ham fans used insulting language to mock disabled people.

Kilbane, whose 10-year-old daughter Elsie has Down’s syndrome, complained after learning from a friend present at the London club’s clash with Tottenham about grossly offensive chanting at the game.

Hammers fans are said to have chanted “Harry Kane talks like a m**g and plays like one too” during their club’s 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

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

Kilbane, who made 110 appearances for the Republic, was not present at the match but was informed of the language by a close friend and has since contacted the FA.

Kilbane, who also played for Sunderland and Everton, is a patron of the Down’s Syndrome Association charity.

He said in the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror: “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.

“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.”