Two fans arrested for alleged misogynistic chants

Published on: 27 November 2023

Rebecca Welch became the first woman to referee an English Football League game when she took charge of the League Two match between Harrogate and Port Vale in March 2021

Two teenagers have been arrested for alleged misogynistic chanting towards referee Rebecca Welch during Birmingham City's Championship match against Sheffield Wednesday at St Andrew's.

West Midlands Police said two 17-year-olds have been detained for a public order offence.

Birmingham had warned fans about their behaviour before the game on Saturday.

Welch, 39, had been subjected to sexist chanting during her previous match at St Andrew's in January.

"We don't tolerate any form of hate and it is important hate crime is reported to us," read a police statement.

Welch became the first woman to take charge of a Championship match when she took charge of Birmingham's match against Preston at the start of the year.

After facing "sexist and misogynistic" chants during that game, Birmingham released a statement on Friday warning fans that a repeat of that behaviour during the Sheffield Wednesday match "would not be tolerated".

The club added that anyone found guilty of "discriminatory and hate speech" could face a ban of up to five years.

Birmingham won the game against the Owls 2-1 - manager Wayne Rooney's first victory in charge.

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