Benayoun accuses Chelsea fans of racist abuse

Benayoun accuses Chelsea fans of racist abuse

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Chelsea v Newcastle United - Stamford Bridge
Benayoun said he suffered anti-Semitic abuse from his own Chelsea supporters

Chelsea midfielder Yossi Benayoun has accused Blues fans of racially abusing him, calling him a “little Jew”.

The 33-year-old, who is set to leave Stamford Bridge, said the alleged abuse occured earlier this season when the Londoners played Liverpool at Anfield.

The Israeli captain said he suffered the abuse while warming up as a substitute, when the travelling fans called him a “little Jew and worse.”

He said: “I was warming up, getting ready for the substitution, when I started getting it from one or two fans. There were threatening words like ‘little so and so Jew’ and other stuff that was worse. I had never encountered anything like that before in all my career. I have played in Spain and the Premier League, and all over the world with the Israel national team, but I’ve never had that.

“I suppose you have to accept there are racist supporters throughout the world who can target you at any time, but it’s still not nice. I complained about it to Chelsea officials, and they said they would investigate, along with the police.”

Looking ahead to his future, Benayoun ruled out a return to Israel, though said he could still play for a club in Europe, while also looking possibly at a move to the States. He said: “We will see what happens, but it would not be easy for me to leave England and the Premier League. I know I can still do a job at this level, and it has to help that I am on a free. I am not afraid of a new challenge or of dropping down to a club in the lower reaches of the division. I love a challenge, and I still have a big desire to succeed in the Premier League.

“I will never go back to play in Israel. I want to finish my career in Europe, and I still firmly believe I can make a difference for a side in England. All I ask is it is a club who will give me an important role and expect big things from me, because that is the sort of project that will excite me and get the best out of me.”

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