Chelsea Football Club have condemned a group of supporters who sang an anti-Semitic chant during Saturday’s Premier League win at Leicester.
Their record signing, Spanish striker Alvaro Morata, opened the scoring in their 2-1 win, with fans responding by singing: “Morata, whoa, Morata, whoa. He came from Real Madrid, he hates the f**cking Y**s.”
Hours after the match, the club, through its head of communications Steve Atkins, said: “The club and the players appreciate the fans’ passionate support away from home, of course, but the language in that song is not acceptable at all.”
“We’ve spoken to Alvaro after the game and he does not want to be connected to that song in any way and both the player and the club request that the supporters stop singing that song with immediate effect.”
The player himself also called for an end to the chant, tweeting: “Since I arrived, I have been able to feel your support every single day, you are amazing and I’d like to ask you to please respect everyone!”
Since I arrived, I have been able to feel your support every single day, you are amazing and I’d like to ask you to please respect everyone!
— Álvaro Morata (@AlvaroMorata) September 9, 2017
Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation, issued a statement, saying it expects the club to ban any supporter found guilty of singing the chant. It said: “Kick It Out condemns the alleged chanting by some of Chelsea’s supporters during the match at the King Power Stadium. There is no place for such disgusting chants at football matches and in wider society.
“Kick It Out welcomes the clear statement by Chelsea FC, deploring the chants and asking all supporters to cease repeating the chant.
“The organisation expects Chelsea FC to ban any supporters who are identified as indulging in such abusive conduct and expects the police to take action against any identified perpetrators.”
Gideon Falter, Chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Due to the repeated brazen singing of antisemitic songs by Chelsea fans, statements are no longer enough. Whilst we welcome the club’s swift condemnation of this repulsive singing, Chelsea must now either identify and the punish fans who participated, or the club itself should face strict penalties from the Football Association to send a clear message to its fans.”
Despite the swift condemnation, the club could still face punishment from the FA.