The “strongest possible action” against any Chelsea F.C. supporters found to have joined an anti-Semitic chant in Budapest has been promised by club management, days after four fans were suspended for viciously abusing Raheem Sterling.
A vocal minority of Chelsea followers were heard singing a derogatory anti-Semitic chorus about London rival Tottenham supporters during Thursday’s Europa League clash with Vidi in Budapest’s Groupama Arena, which ended 2-2.
The club called the “brainpower” of the guilty fans into question as it promised immediate action.
“Anti-Semitism and any other kind of race-related or religious hatred is abhorrent to this club and the overwhelming majority of our fans,” said a Chelsea spokesman as reported by AFP. “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 used using anti-Semitic or racist words or actions will face the strongest possible action from the club.”
Chelsea and police opened investigations after alleged racist abuse was directed at Manchester City’s Sterling by a section of home supporters during last week’s clash at Stamford Bridge.
This is not the first time supporters of the club have been called out over allegations of anti-Jewish chanting.
Chants by Chelsea fans during their win at Leicester last September were condemned by the club at the time, as Breitbart Jerusalem reported. On that occasion blues supporters repeated a song about Alvaro Morata previously used to abuse Tottenham, who have a large Jewish fanbase.
“Alvaro, Alvaro. He comes from Madrid. He hates the f****** Yids,” sang Chelsea supporters at the King Power Stadium.
“The club and the players appreciate the fans’ passionate support away from home, of course,” Chelsea head of communications Steve Atkins said in that game’s aftermath. “But the language in that song is not acceptable at all.”
The club also took to Twitter to address the problem:
— Liam Twomey (@liam_twomey) September 9, 2017
In January this year the club launched a campaign to fight anti-Semitism in football, targeting fans as well as players and the club’s support staff.
The long-term initiative began at Chelsea’s Premier League game against Bournemouth and forms part of what the club describes as “on-going inclusion work”, through the Chelsea Foundation’s Building Bridges campaign.
The initiative is supported by the club’s owner, Roman Abramovich.
The Jewish Leadership Council released a statement on Friday morning, backing Chelsea’s reaction to the latest incident. They said: ‘The latest anti-Semitic incident is thoroughly depressing, especially in light of the dedicated work that Chelsea FC has done to address the problem.
‘We completely endorse the club’s strong statement and would support them in any robust action which they now take against the perpetrators.’
UEFA are awaiting the referees’ report before they will consider investigating.
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