Belfast Telegraph

Josh Magennis asks fans to stop offensive singing about him during matches

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

A Northern Ireland football player has asked fans to stop singing an offensive song about him during matches.

Bolton Wanderers striker Josh Magennis has been the subject of the song sung by fans, and video of the chant has been doing the rounds on social media.

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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 Mr Magennis’ anatomy.

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

I know that the intention of the song is to show support, but I would prefer if it wasn’t sung going forward Josh Magennis

Josh Magennis, 28, 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.”

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 are to play Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday night in the Uefa Nations League.

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