Chelsea have welcomed the Crown Prosecution Service’s decision to define a chant that has been aimed at their players and fans as a homophobic slur.
The CPS said last week that fans singing the slur during matches were committing a hate crime.
It added that those found to have used the words could face prosecution.
Chelsea said they “will not hesitate” to take action against individuals who continue to sing the chant.
Premier League clubs Liverpool, Leeds, Tottenham and Everton have all condemned their fans for singing the homophobic chant this season.
Spurs condemned a section of their supporters for allegedly singing the chant during their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg-defeat at Stamford Bridge this month.
“Chelsea welcomes the news that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) recognises that the term ‘rent boy’ is a homophobic slur, and that those who use it are liable to prosecution,” said the club in a statement.
“We will continue to work with our supporters and our LGBTQ+ fan group Chelsea Pride to ensure that our club is welcoming and inclusive for all.
“We will not hesitate to take action against anyone who persists in using this or any other discriminatory language, including working with the police and CPS to secure prosecutions.”
Tracy Brown, co-chair of Chelsea Pride, thanked Tottenham’s LGBTQ+ fan group Proud Lilywhites for working together to “collect a number of victim impact statements detailing how hearing this chant negatively impacts the experience of football”.