AN investigation has been launched into allegations of 'tragedy chanting' at Ashville FC's match at Droylsden at the weekend.

The Wallasey-based non leaguers, who play in the North West Counties Football League (NWCFL), travelled to Greater Manchester on Saturday for a Macron Cup quarter final tie with the game being abandoned after 75 minutes due to a waterlogged pitch. 

Following the game, Ashville posted on X (formerly known as Twitter), saying they had been subjected to "vile tragedy chanting by the Droylsden crowd referring to Hillsborough".

97 Liverpool fans were killed at Hillsborough in Sheffield at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest on April 15 1989. 

A coroner's inquest in 2016 ruled that the supporters were unlawfully killed owing to grossly negligent failures by police and ambulance services to fulfil their duty of care.

At the start of this season, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) released new guidance around punishments for tragedy chanting.

The move followed a number of incidents where fans have chanted deeply offensive songs that reference stadium disasters or fatal accidents involving players or supporters.

The CPS suggested fans could be stopped from attending matches and tournaments, with additional restrictions such as not being able to travel to certain areas, or being allowed in pubs at game time.

This comes after English football's governing body, the FA, announced new rules that include a section on tragedy chanting, saying anyone who commits this "vile form of abuse" could be banned from stadiums and arrested.

A statement issued by the NWCFL said: "The NWCFL is aware of allegations of tragedy chanting during the Macron Cup Quarter Final tie between Droylsden and Ashville.

"The League has previously issued warnings to all member clubs about their responsibilities in ensuring spectator behaviour at grounds, following similar incidents involving tragedy chanting this season.

"Punishment could include the potential closure of grounds to spectators. ‘Tragedy chanting’ is now a criminal offence and fans who are caught can be prosecuted and receive a lengthy ban from football. It is considered alongside homophobic, racist and other forms of abuse. 

"In this instance, The League has asked both clubs for their observations, and we will work with the respective County FAs, as this is a potential discipline matter under the jurisdiction of the FA.  The League condemn any forms of tragedy chanting, which has no place in football. To use horrific tragedies such as Hillsborough and the Munich Air Crash as a form of ‘banter’ disrespects the victims and their loved ones, and damages the reputation of the clubs concerned.

"We would urge anyone who observes tragedy chanting at any of our games to report it to stewards at a game, to the club concerned, or to the League or County FA so action against any individuals can be taken."

A spokesperson for Ashville FC added: "Following the events of Saturday's Macron Cup quarter final tie, an investigation has been opened by the relevant county FA's following a complaint made by Ashville Football Club.

"Ashville Football Club will make no further comment on this matter whilst the investigation is ongoing."