Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

English Premiership

Football racism inquiry call after Spurs-Chelsea clash halted

Referee Anthony Taylor discusses with players where racist commnets were heard in the crowd © AFP / Adrian DENNIS

LONDON, United Kingdom, Dec 23The Professional Footballers’ Association called for a government inquiry into racism in football after Chelsea’s 2-0 Premier League win at Tottenham on Sunday was marred by alleged racist comments from the crowd, the latest in a string of recent incidents.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said the problem needed “to be dealt with strongly” and Tottenham promised “a thorough investigation” after referee Anthony Taylor halted play during the second half when Antonio Rudiger complained of hearing monkey noises from spectators.

Moments earlier the Chelsea defender had been involved in a second-half clash with Son Heung-min that saw the South Korean sent off.

Shortly after the stoppage, an announcement made over the public address system warned that “racist behaviour among spectators is interfering with the game” and Taylor spoke to both managers, Lampard and Jose Mourinho.

Two further public address announcements followed after play was resumed.

“It’s just such a shame that racism still exists in 2019. When will this nonsense stop?” Rudiger tweeted.

– ‘There must be witnesses’ –

“I really hope that the offenders will be found and punished soon, and in such a modern football ground like the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with dozens of TV and security cameras, it must be possible to find and subsequently punish them.

Tottenham’s Son Heung-min was sent off after clashing with Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger © AFP / Adrian DENNIS

“If not, then there must have been witnesses in the stadium who saw and heard the incident.”

The PFA said in a statement late Sunday: “We are disgusted and dismayed that once again, a Premier League fixture has been tainted by abuse from the stands towards players.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“It has become clear that football players are on the receiving end of the blatant racism that is currently rife in the UK, but they are not alone.

“Racist abuse in football is not just an issue for black and ethnic minority players, it is an issue for everyone who loves the game.

“The PFA calls for a government inquiry into racism and the rise in hate crime within football.”

– Rising problem –

Chelsea’s German defender Antonio Rudiger, pictured in early December, says he hopes the offenders will be identified and punished © AFP/File / Glyn KIRK

Two weeks ago a man was identified and arrested for an alleged racist gesture caught on TV cameras during the Manchester derby between City and United, while an Italy’s Serie A apologised last week after an anti-racism campaign featuring posters with images of monkeys was widely condemned.

UEFA chief Aleksander Ceferin earlier this month pledged European football’s governing body was working to tackle the rising problem after a spate of incidents across the continent including the hurling of racist abuse at England players during a match in Bulgaria.

But Ceferin accused British Prime Minister Boris Johnson of fuelling the problem.

“When a politician that calls women with burqas post boxes or mailboxes then says publicly that he condemns you UEFA (for not tackling racism) — do you reply to that? Do you believe it’s honest? Come on,” said Ceferin.

Son Heung-min is shown the red card after he kicked out at Antonio Rudiger © IKIMAGES/AFP / Glyn KIRK

Former Manchester United player Gary Neville also accused top UK politicians.

“We’ve just had a general election in this country with both main parties and the leaders of both main parties accused constantly of fuelling racism and accepting racism in their parties,” said Neville on Sky Sports.

“If it’s accepted in the highest office in the country, we’re not talking at a micro-level.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“Maybe we have to empower the players to walk off the pitch and stop the entertainment while it is happening,” he added.

– ‘Accepted in highest level’ –

The ugly scenes overshadowed the Willian double that gave Lampard a memorable triumph at the expense of his former Chelsea manager Mourinho.

Lampard insisted there was never any question of his team leaving the pitch in protest.

“Of course, we know there is a protocol,” he said. “It needs to be dealt with strongly.”

Son Heung-min trudges off after receiving a red card for his challenge on Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger © AFP / Adrian DENNIS

Tottenham manager Mourinho condemned racism but still took a swipe at Rudiger, accusing him of play-acting by clutching his ribs to get Son sent off.

“I hate racism in society, I hate racism in football. I’m disappointed that things like that can happen. The club is a very proud club in this kind of situation and internally we will try to deal with it,” he said.

Lampard outwitted his old boss so effectively that Chelsea dominated from start to finish.

Willian’s superb opener was followed by a clinical penalty from the Brazilian as Chelsea held onto fourth place and moved six points clear of seventh-placed Tottenham.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Advertisement

More on Capital Sports

Football

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25 – There is light at the end of the tunnel. After failed promises over the last three years since its...

Athletics

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 8 – Olympic Champion Caster Semenya and wife Violet Raseboya have hinted that they might be expecting a baby in a...

Features

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 17 – The Kakamega High School ‘Green Commandos’ have produced a plethora of talent over the past decades in Kenyan football...

NFL

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – Kenya’s history making Daniel Adongo, the first Kenyan to play in America’s National Football League (NFL), is now living...

© 2020 Capital Digital Media. Capital Group Limited. All Rights Reserved