Sunday 18 August 2019

'Unadulterated bigotry' - Liverpool blast Chelsea fans filmed singing racist Mo Salah chants

Slavia Prague 0 Chelsea 1

Mo Salah of Liverpool
Mo Salah of Liverpool
Chelsea's Marcos Alonso celebrates scoring their first goal with Olivier Giroud and Antonio Rudiger. Photo: Paul Childs/Action Images via Reuters

Jamie Holland

Chelsea are under renewed scrutiny after a small group of fans sang vile chants about Mohamed Salah, with Liverpool branding the behaviour "unadulterated bigotry" in a withering statement.

A video of alleged Chelsea fans mocking Salah as "a bomber" emerged on social media before their Europa League quarter-final first leg against Slavia Prague, which was won by a late Marcos Alonso header.

Salah, a former Chelsea player, is of Muslim faith and the sick song is another damaging blow to the club's reputation, following a number of other racism storms this season.

Three of the alleged six fans involved in the chants were prevented from entering Slavia's Eden Arena, after Chelsea officials acted swiftly and studied the video footage to identify them. The six fans are facing life bans from Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea said the supporters involved were an "embarrassment" while Liverpool - who they face in the Premier League at Anfield on Sunday - issued a strongly-worded statement condemning the incident.

"The video circulating online, showing vile discriminatory chants being aimed at one of our players, is dangerous and disturbing," it read.

Chelsea's Olivier Giroud, left, battles for the ball with Slavia Prague's Jaromir Zmrhal. Photo: Petr David Josek/AP
Chelsea's Olivier Giroud, left, battles for the ball with Slavia Prague's Jaromir Zmrhal. Photo: Petr David Josek/AP

"Already this season, we have seen repulsive discriminatory abuse inside stadiums in England, Europe and across the world; abuse that was captured on devices and put into the public domain.

"This behaviour needs to be called out for what it is - unadulterated bigotry."

Amid another off-field controversy, Chelsea negotiated a tricky first leg tie with Alonso breaking the deadlock late on.

They are the favourites to win the competition and now have 10 wins and one draw from their 11 games in Europe.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri. Photo: David W Cerny/Reuters
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri. Photo: David W Cerny/Reuters

It was a curiously disjointed performance but Alonso pounced with a header four minutes from time, nodding in Willian's cross, to set Chelsea on course for the last four. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Chelsea's Jorginho, right, battles for the ball with Slavia Prague's Petr Sevcik. Photo: David Josek/AP Photo
Chelsea's Jorginho, right, battles for the ball with Slavia Prague's Petr Sevcik. Photo: David Josek/AP Photo

Telegraph.co.uk

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