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twitter backlash BBC denies they broadcast fans' 'f**k the Pope' chant ahead of Super Cup clash

Twitter users said they heard sectarian chanting in the clip during fans' rendition of 'Sweet Caroline'

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BBC's Broadcasting House in Belfast

BBC's Broadcasting House in Belfast

BBC's Broadcasting House in Belfast

The BBC have said they will not show a clip of football fans singing Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’ again after viewers claimed sectarian chants were heard from fans filmed before last night's Super Cup final in Windsor Park in Belfast.

However, the broadcaster has said they are “confident” there was no sectarian chanting in the clip.

On social media claims were made that some Chelsea supporters who were filmed before the match for the segment on BBC Newsline’s 6.30pm show on BBC One Northern Ireland were heard shouting or chanting “f**k the Pope” during the rendition of the song, which has long been the unofficial anthem of the Northern Ireland football team.

The fans were in a gazebo in Sandy Row, where hundreds had gathered before making their way to Windsor Park stadium nearby for the UEFA Super Cup clash between Chelsea and Villarreal.

On Twitter some users accused the broadcaster of ignoring the chant for the segment.

Sean Fitz said: ‘BBC Newsline plays “f##k the Pope” version of “Sweet Caroline” on this evenings news!?!? Surely someone noticed!!?? Unbelievable’

Another Twitter user, Seán Mag Riabhaigh, tweeted: ‘Stop paying @BBCnireland, stop "buying" a TV license, bbcni is an anti Catholic organisation, "sweet caroline f**k the pope", STOP FUNDING THE BBC, DO NOT BUY A TV LICENSE.’

A BBC Spokesperson said: “We are confident that there was no audio of swearing on our programme tonight. However we accept that we cannot be sure of the intentions of everyone in the video and for that reason we will not run the clip again.”

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