Two football fans have been arrested over alleged abuse aimed at a female referee.
The fans were arrested during Birmingham City’s win over Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday for alleged misogynistic chanting towards match official, Rebecca Welch.
“We have arrested two boys for misogynistic chanting at the female referee during Birmingham City’s home game at St Andrew’s today,” a statement from West Midlands Police read.
“Our officers heard the chants being directed at the official and acted quickly to arrest the two, who are both 17.”
Police said the teenagers were arrested on suspicion of committing a public order offence.
Birmingham warned supporters ahead of the match on Friday about their behaviour towards match officials.
In a statement, the club highlighted how Ms Welch faced “sexist and misogynistic” chants during her previous match at St Andrew’s against Preston.
The club also reminded supporters that a five-year ban could be issued for discriminatory or hate speech.
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“Prior to Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship fixture with Sheffield Wednesday, a statement was issued on BCFC.com encouraging supporters to be respectful towards the match officials,” a club statement read.
“The football club are, therefore, deeply disappointed that two supporters were overheard by West Midlands Police officers engaging in misogynistic chanting towards today’s referee and are currently in custody on suspicion of a public order offence.
“Birmingham City strongly condemns all forms of discrimination and will support the police with their enquiries.”
Birmingham won the Sky Bet Championship fixture 2-1, which earned new manager Wayne Rooney his maiden victory in charge of the club.
Ms Welch, 39, made history in January by becoming the first woman to officiate a Championship match – after she took charge of Birmingham’s clash with Preston.