A number of Leicester fans were ejected from the King Power Stadium on Saturday after directing homophobic abuse at travelling Brighton supporters.
The hosts won the game 2-0, but witnesses claimed that the abuse started in the latter stages of the Premier League clash. Stewards were required to remove some home fans from the stadium as the abusive shouts escalated.
A Leicester fan, who asked not to be named, told the Leicester Mercury: “I’ve been a season ticket holder since I was eight and I’ve heard lots of things being shouted in that time, but nothing quite like this for a long time.
“It was a nice-ish atmosphere until about 20 minutes before the end when I heard people suddenly start shouting homophobic comments towards the linesmen and the visiting fans.
“It’s so disappointing that people seem to think it’s ok to say that kind of thing in this day and age. The comments were pretty disgusting.
“I think the club dealt with it really well and I’m glad they did because it shouldn’t be allowed to go on. It’s especially disappointing that in a multi-cultural place like Leicester, this can happen.
“Events like that make me ashamed to be part of the club.”
A Brighton supporter, meanwhile, added: “We’ve encountered abuse over the years, but it’s all but gone from the game.
“However, a group of around 20 to 30 Leicester City fans close to Brighton supporters suddenly started chanting vicious homophobic abuse and making homophobic gestures.
“It was like something out of the 1970s, and this sort of bigoted, small minded behaviour needs to be stopped and those involved ejected from the ground.”
A Leicester spokesman said: “We are committed to creating a passionate, inclusive, welcoming environment at King Power Stadium, in which everyone is free to enjoy the matchday experience.
“As part of our on-going efforts to educate our staff, senior King Power Stadium stewards undertook specialist training during the summer in effectively identifying offensive behaviour, including contributions from Leicester’s LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] Centre on recognising homophobic abuse.
“While disappointed that such abuse took place during Saturday’s match, we are satisfied that our stewards reacted swiftly and appropriately, which led to the responsible minority being ejected from the stadium and reported to the police.”