English 2nd-tier soccer game stopped for homophobic chants

LONDON (AP) — A game in English soccer’s second tier between Millwall and Reading was briefly stopped due to apparent homophobic chants on Saturday.

The assistant referee pointed out the anti-gay chants from sections of Millwall’s supporters during the London club’s 2-0 home win over Reading.

With the score at 0-0, referee Keith Stroud delayed the game to explain the situation to both teams’ coaches and there was a warning over the public address system during halftime.

“A comprehensive investigation into the alleged incident is well underway,” Millwall said in a statement. “Millwall Football Club has a zero-tolerance policy against discrimination of any kind. Any individual found guilty of such abuse at The Den is issued with an immediate lifetime ban.”

Millwall manager Gary Rowett said he wasn’t sure if there was any homophobic incident and suggested it wasn’t on a large scale.

“I don’t necessarily think it was a chant, I think the linesman’s heard a comment. There can be lots of comments in a game like that,” he said.

Millwall was previously handed a fine of 10,000 pounds ($13,000) in August over racist chanting in an FA Cup game against Everton last season.

Millwall moved up to seventh in the Championship table with the win and is in contention for promotion to the Premier League via the playoff places.

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