Great Britain

Aston Villa fans reported for hate crimes more than any other club in 2019/20

Aston Villa fans were reported for more alleged hate crimes than any other club during the last football season.

Thirteen instances of hate crimes were reported among the clubs supporter base during the 2019/20 season according to Home Office data, with seven of those surrounding race, five related to sexual orientation and one to religion, according to a Freedom of Information request lodged by the Press Association.

There were 319 total instances of reported hate crimes during the campaign, which occurred across 287 of the 2,663 games in England and Wales, providing a ratio of an alleged hate crime fewer than every 10 games last season.

Three clubs were tied for the second-highest number of incidents, with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur fans reported on 10 occasions during the season. All 10 of the reports surrounding Wolves fans were race related, while eight of those involving Leeds were in regards to race with the two others related to sexual orientation. Six of Spurs’s reports surrounded race, with three regarding sexual orientation and one related to religion.

Chelsea were next on the list with nine, which were made up of four for religion, three regarding race and two for sexual orientation.

They were followed by a group of eight clubs who recorded seven reports each in Manchester City, Sheffield United, Everton, Millwall, Leicester, Burnley, Portsmouth and Tranmere.

Only four race-related reports came after the football season resumed in June without fans in attendance following the coronavirus pandemic, one of which was registered at the Premier League match between Manchester City and Burnley on 22 June. The game drew headlines after a plane flew over the Etihad Stadium trailing a banner that read ‘White Lives Matter Burnley at the exact moment that players took a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign.

All reports were made to the Home office by either the Football Association or anti-discrimination group Kick It Out, via the UK Football Policing Unit, although the number of reports could not definitively be assigned to a club that prevents any club-by-club data from being compared. The data also doesn’t show if the incidents were reported by their own fans, only when and where the reports were made.

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