Thursday 17 January 2019

Chelsea attack 'brain-power' of own fans over anti-Semitic chants in Budapest

Chelsea fans in Budapest. Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs
Chelsea fans in Budapest. Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

Jack Watson

Chelsea promise to take “strongest possible action” against supporters found to have “shamed the club”, as Uefa investigates reports of antisemitic chanting during their 2-2 draw in the Europa League against Vidi in Hungary on Thursday night.

The chanting, which is alleged to have begun three minutes into the match, comes only days after the Metropolitan Police and Chelsea launched an investigation into alleged racist abuse aimed at Raheem Sterling at Stamford Bridge.

The club has repeatedly called on supporters to stop signing antisematic chants and previously released a powerful video urging fans to change their ways.

In a powerful statement the club condemned the latest allegations of antisematic chanting and urged supporters to comprehend their “simple message”.

“Antisemitism and any other kind of race-related or religious hatred is abhorrent to this club and the overwhelming majority of our fans. It has no place at Chelsea or in any of our communities.

"We have stated this loud and clear on many occasions from the owner, the board, coaches and players.

“Any individuals that can’t summon the brainpower to comprehend this simple message and are found to have shamed the club by using antisemitic or racist words or actions will face the strongest possible action from the club.”

Ahead of the dead-rubber tie Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri said he was ‘disgusted’ by the alleged racist abuse Sterling suffered at Stamford Bridge and added that he “condemn[s] any form of discrimination”.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who featured in the 2-2 draw, added ahead of the game that Sterling set an example by his reaction to the alleged abuse. "I think he was right to say what he said. I don't think it should be in the game or anywhere. Him speaking out was the right thing. If it happened to me I would do the same.”

Anti-discrimination charity Kick it Out confirmed they are aware of the alleged chants and will "liaise with the club".

Independent News Service

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