Villa fans top reported hate crime list

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Racism was reported at 214 football matches, or online in connection with those matches, across the UK in the 2019-20 season

Aston Villa fans were reported for more alleged hate crimes than any team last season, according to Home Office data.

Results seen by the Press Association under a Freedom of Information request showed Villa fans reported 13 times.

Wolves, Leeds and Tottenham fans were the subject of 10 reports each, while Chelsea fans were reported nine times.

The reports came to the UK Football Policing Unit from either the Football Association or anti-discrimination body Kick It Out.

A number of the reports could not definitively be assigned to a team, so do not feature in the club-by-club data.

Of Villa’s 13 incidents, seven related to race, five related to sexual orientation and one to religion.

The 319 hate crimes reported last season were connected to 287 of the 2,663 matches in England and Wales.

The Freedom of Information request found only four reports of hate crime were made relating to matches played when the professional game resumed in June and July.

Online incidents were included in the data for the first time.

In September, Kick It Out chair Sanjay Bhandari said: “We all need to do more and we all need to take a stand against discrimination.

“Kick It Out will play its part with campaigning, education and talent programmes that diversify the face of football. But this is everyone’s responsibility.”

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