The BBC has published images that have been released of 16 Tottenham fans police want to trace over indecent and homophobic chanting directed at Portsmouth's Sol Campbell. The investigation follows abuse aimed at the former Arsenal and England defender during a game with Spurs at Fratton Park on 28 September.
Officers are asking the public to help them trace the men, who were captured on film during the match. The FA said it would ban for life any fans it could prove were involved.
Supt Neil Sherrington from Hampshire police said: "As part of our investigation into indecent chanting at Fratton Park, we have identified 16 people we would like to speak to. Our inquiry is aimed at identifying and putting before the court those individuals who engaged in unacceptable behaviour at this public event. Their abuse caused distress to some supporters and was targeted at an individual. We want to send a clear message that abuse of this kind will not be tolerated and that we are taking robust action. I'd urge anyone who recognises these people to contact us as soon as possible."
Campbell, who left Tottenham on a free transfer to north London rivals Arsenal in 2001, joining Portsmouth in 2006, was subjected to prolonged abuse during the game. Complaints from Portsmouth fans were made to Hampshire police, who initially said they could not take action because of the number of Tottenham fans involved.
Singing and chanting is part of the fun of being at a football match and I am not overly p.c. but I fully endorse action of this sort. It is good to know that people can no longer just hide in the crowd and get away with things that they would neither have the courage nor the stupidity to do on their own.
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