Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has backed Portsmouth and England defender Sol Campbell’s call for supporters to curb their abuse of managers, players and officials in English football.
Wenger said he believed the problem related to a lack of respect in society.
“At the moment, what is happening is that if you, or anybody, gives abuse back to anybody in the stand, then you are charged and you are punished,” he told a news a conference.
“But you can get plenty of abuse from the crowd that is not punished. And you cannot say that is justice.”
He said it was “not just because you are out in the centre of the pitch that you deserve abuse. Ninety-nine percent of the people who get it don’t deserve it so it is part of the (problem of lack of) respect in our society I think.”
Wenger’s call for changes to stamp out verbal abuse in stadiums followed former Arsenal defender Campbell’s plea earlier this week.
Campbell was the subject of verbal abuse from supporters of another of his former clubs last week when Tottenham played Portsmouth.
“My opinion is that it is better it stops because who likes it? Who wants to be abused? Nobody,” added Wenger.
“I would like it to change. Why should we not respect people just because they have a shirt on and not a suit? It’s the same for everybody.”
A Football Association spokesman declined to comment on Wenger’s call for change but referred to a recent FA statement that said laws already existed in this area.
“Put simply, it’s against the law,” said the FA statement. “Individual clubs have to work with the police if necessary to enforce the laws.”