Friday 18 January 2019

Our racist fans lack brainpower, say Chelsea following anti-Semitic chants

Mol Vidi 2 Chelsea 2

A general view of the travelling Chelsea fans. Photo: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs
A general view of the travelling Chelsea fans. Photo: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

Charlie Eccleshare

Chelsea last night questioned the "brainpower" of some of their supporters after a group of fans were heard singing an anti-Semitic chant in Budapest - just five days on from the alleged racism directed at Raheem Sterling.

Only two minutes into their Europa League group match away at MOL Vidi yesterday, a minority of the 1,273 Chelsea supporters at the match began chanting abuse about "Yids". The words "Barcelona, Real Madrid, Tottenham are a bunch of Yids... Yiddos" could be heard from the Groupama Arena away end. After the match ended in a 2-2 draw, Chelsea released a statement condemning the behaviour of the supporters in question.

"Anti-Semitism and any other kind of race-related or religious hatred is abhorrent to this club and the overwhelming majority of our fans," a club spokesperson said. "It has no place at Chelsea. We have stated this loud and clear on many occasions. Any individuals that can't summon the brainpower to comprehend this simple message and are found to have shamed the club by using anti-Semitism or racist words or actions will face the strongest possible action"

Uefa then confirmed that it would investigated the allegations of anti-Semitic chanting. Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri was asked about the controversy but said: "I didn't hear anything. I am not able to understand a song in English, I am sorry."

The controversy was exactly what Chelsea were hoping to avoid in a week in which they had banned four fans for allegedly racially abusing Raheem Sterling. One of the fans was accused of calling Sterling a "black c***" - though he claims he used the word "Manc".

Chelsea are investigating the incident and the Metropolitan Police are carrying out their own inquiry, though the club may decide to uphold the bans even if the police decide to take no action.

Willian scores Chelsea's first goal from a free kick. Photo: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs
Willian scores Chelsea's first goal from a free kick. Photo: Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

In Budapest, where Olivier Giroud's late free-kick rescued a draw for the visitors on the pitch, the anti-Semitic abuse was followed by a chant attacking a journalist and Chelsea fan who earlier in the week called out the racism and he claimed to regularly see at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have made major steps to try and eradicate discriminatory behaviour among their fans, but they have had to deal with a number of scandals. In 2015, four supporters were given suspended prison sentences and ordered to pay €10,000 to a black commuter pushed off a Metro carriage in Paris. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Chelsea's Ethan Ampadu, bottom center, looks on after scoring an own goal. Tibor Illyes/MTI via AP
Chelsea's Ethan Ampadu, bottom center, looks on after scoring an own goal. Tibor Illyes/MTI via AP
Olivier Giroud scores Chelsea's second. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Olivier Giroud scores Chelsea's second. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Telegraph.co.uk

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