COVENTRY City have issued a statement to protesting fans to warn that any further blowing of whistles from the crowd would risk FA sanctions.
It comes after referee-style whistles were used by protesters during the home game against Sheffield United, and by some in the last home game versus Bolton this month.
Video footage of the Bolton game appears to show that two Coventry City players stopped upon hearing a whistle from the crowd instead of defending outside the Sky Blues’ penalty area- believing it to be the referee’s whistle – and began walking up field.
The shrill whistle which had appeared to disrupt the game – as with whistles throughout the match – came from the section of the stands were protesters against the club’s parent company Sisu have been most concentrated.
The play promptly resulted in a Bolton late equaliser which cost the relegation-threatened Sky Blues two important League One points. It followed a Sheffield United late equaliser after a pitch invasion on 87 minutes by some protesting fans, who now face sanctions given the football authorities taking a zero-tolerance approach to such conduct.
The Coventry City statement today reads: “The club urges fans to stop blowing whistles inside the stadium on a Coventry City FC Matchday.
“The Football Association (FA) has written to the club and made it abundantly clear that they will continue to monitor Coventry City fans’ behaviour inside stadiums and any deliberate disruption of a game by our fanbase will leave the Club open to FA sanctions.
Whilst the Club will always encourage vocal support in favour of the team, we kindly ask that fans refrain from blowing whistles that may cause distraction and/or interrupt a match.”
Many Coventry City fans took to social media and internet forums to express their outrage at the disruption, which they argued was caused by the whistle.
Other fans argued the players as professionals should have played to the ref’s whistle.