Chelsea have vowed to ban any supporters found to have used antisemitic language or behaviour “which shames our club” during Monday’s Premier League match at Watford.
Releasing a statement after the Jewish News reported how a Chelsea supporter was left “disgusted” with the chanting he heard from fellow Blues fans at Vicarage Road, Metliss, who is the chairman of the Action Against Discrimination charity, took pictures of the alleged perpetrators and reported the incident to nearby stewards before being moved to the family enclosure “for his own safety”.
Chelsea issued a strongly worded statement on Tuesday evening and have launched an investigation in co-operation with Watford and the police.
“Antisemitism has no place in our club, football or wider society,” a Chelsea spokesman said.
“Anyone found guilty of antisemitic language or behaviour will face action from the club, including bans, and will be asked to attend equality education courses.
“We welcome the fact that Chelsea fans have reported this behaviour, which shames our club.
“We ask all fans who share our vision for a game open to all to report any kind of discrimination they witness or experience.
“We will be working closely with the police and Watford to identify those responsible and will take the appropriate action.”
Watford have also released a statement, which read: “Watford FC deplores discrimination of any kind and is always determined to see that Vicarage Road is a friendly and welcoming place for supporters of all backgrounds and faiths.
“In relation to Monday evening’s fixture, Watford Football Club will offer its fullest support to Chelsea Football Club and other relevant parties to help provide evidence to support action against offenders.”
The alleged incident occurred less than a week after Chelsea launched a ‘Say No to Antisemitism’ campaign as part of their own inclusion work through the Building Bridges initiative.
Club owner Roman Abramovich was joined by high-profile individuals from across the Jewish community and by antisemitism campaigners at a gathering ahead of the January 31 match against Bournemouth, which saw the lighting of a candle by Holocaust survivor Harry Spiro.