Chelsea condemn 'abhorrent' racism as Uefa investigates reports of antisemitic chants in Europa League

It is alleged that supporters chanted antisemitic songs at the start of their match against Vidi days after four supporters were banned for alleged racist abuse aimed at Raheem Sterling at Stamford Bridge

Jack Watson@jackwatsonsport
Thursday 13 December 2018 21:13
comments
Chelsea have released a powerful statement
Chelsea have released a powerful statement

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 singing antisemitic chants and previously released a video urging fans to change their ways.

In a powerful statement the club condemned the latest allegations of antisemitic 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.

Raheem Sterling recently suffered alleged racist abuse at Stamford Bridge 

"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".

In January Chelsea launched a long-term initiative supported by the club’s owner Roman Abramovich to raise awareness of and educate players, staff, supporters and the wider community about antisemitism in football.

Chelsea announced in October that they want to send racist supporters on trips to Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz instead of imposing banning orders. “If you just ban people, you will never change their behaviour,” said Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck “This policy gives them a chance to realise what they have done, to make them want to behave better.”

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments