Disciplinary proceedings against Chelsea over fan anti-Semitism

UEFA begins disciplinary proceedings against Chelsea following alleged anti-Semitic chanting.

Ben Ariel ,

Soccer (illustration)
Soccer (illustration)

UEFA has begun disciplinary proceedings against Chelsea following alleged anti-Semitic chanting during the club's Europa League match at Hungarian club Vidi last month, the soccer governing body announced on Tuesday, according to AFP.

A vocal minority of Chelsea fans were heard singing a derogatory chant about Tottenham supporters, featuring anti-Semitic language, during the 2-2 draw at the Groupama Arena in Budapest.

"In relation to the alleged racist incidents that occurred at the afore-mentioned match, UEFA has announced that disciplinary proceedings have been instigated against Chelsea FC," UEFA said in a statement quoted by AFP.

It added that its Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body would deal with the case on February 28.

This is not the first time that Chelsea fans have been involved in anti-Semitic activities. In 2017, a number of Chelsea fans chanted an anti-Semitic song against rivals Tottenham, leading the British team to plead with fans to ditch the anti-Semitic song.

The previous year, Chelsea fans were filmed singing an anti-Semitic chant on a London subway following the team's victory over Tottenham.

Chelsea fans also pushed a black commuter off a Metro train in Paris in February 2015 ahead of a Champions League tie.

In October of 2018, the club was said to be considering the possibility of sending racist supporters on trips to the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz instead of imposing banning orders, in an attempt to tackle anti-Semitism among fans.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck recently published an open letter to fans in which he blamed a "deeply unpleasant but vocal minority" for refusing "to join us in the 21st century" and damaging the club's image.

"We must not allow a small minority of fans to bring further embarrassment upon us, and will continue to take the strongest possible action against them," said Buck, according to AFP.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who is Jewish, and several of the club's players joined the World Jewish Congress this week as part of its "We Remember" campaign to help raise awareness about the Holocaust and fight racism and discrimination.