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Northern Ireland striker Josh Magennis in plea to fans over offensive chant


Josh Magennis

Josh Magennis

�William Cherry / Presseye

Josh Magennis

Northern Ireland footballer Josh Magennis has asked fans to stop singing an offensive song about him during matches.

The striker has been the subject of the supporters' chant, and video of it has been doing the rounds on social media.

The song, which has been sung at Northern Ireland matches for the past year, to the tune of Earth, Wind and Fire's September, makes reference to Magennis's anatomy.

Both the Irish Football Association and the player are calling for an end to the chant.

Magennis (28), who plays club football for English Championship side Bolton Wanderers, said: "I love playing for Northern Ireland and always appreciate when my name is sung at games.

"I know that the intention of the song is to show support, but I would prefer if it wasn't sung going forward."

A spokesman for the Irish Football Association said: "The Irish FA has a zero-tolerance approach to offensive chanting and is working directly with Northern Ireland supporters' groups on the issue."

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Videos on social media also show disparity over the content of the rest of the song. The chant bears similarities to the controversy last year regarding Romelu Lukaku when he first made the move to Manchester United.

Whether or not it was sung in a way intended to be offensive or derogatory towards Lukaku, United were told to act by the Football Association, although no investigation was launched.

Under the current Football (Offences) Act 1991, it is an offence for any individual to engage, or take part in, chanting of an indecent or racialist nature in connection with a designated football match, which is defined by a "matter which is threatening, abusive or insulting to a person by reason of their colour, race, nationality or ethnic or national origins".

Northern Ireland play Bosnia and Herzegovina tonight in the UEFA Nations League.

Magennis has been capped 39 times since his debut in 2010, scoring four goals.

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