Chelsea to send stewards to Spurs game in attempt to curb antisemitic chanting
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Chelsea to send stewards to Spurs game in attempt to curb antisemitic chanting

Ahead of major London clash, the Blues' fans will travel to Wembley with club officials who will chuck out any racist supporters

L-R Charley Musonda, Eden Hazard and Ross Barkley have given their backing to Chelsea's new campaign against tackling anti-Semitism
L-R Charley Musonda, Eden Hazard and Ross Barkley have given their backing to Chelsea's new campaign against tackling anti-Semitism

Chelsea fans will travel to Tottenham with their own club stewards in-tow next week in an unusual move aimed at curbing supporters’ continued antisemitic chanting.

Matches between the two clubs have a history of racist chanting, with Tottenham fans having long called themselves the ‘Yid Army’ in reference to their Jewish roots, but Chelsea fans have repeatedly used the word to cause offence.

While Tottenham fans often travel to away matches with their own stewards, the Stamford Bridge club – which is owned by Jewish billionaire Roman Abramovich – has seldom done likewise, meaning Chelsea’s decision marks a change in tactics.

The issue of Chelsea fans’ antisemitic chanting was repeatedly raised last year, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn even wading in to warn travelling supporters against singing offensive songs. But the matter remains problematic, with chants about “Yids” heard during Chelsea’s last two games, against Watford and Crystal Palace.

Chelsea supporters are believed to be aggrieved that Tottenham fans are legally able to use the word ‘Yid’ in reference to themselves, since they see it as “reclaiming” the terms, whereas Chelsea fans using the same word will be ejected.

Representatives of both sets of fans are due to meet police officers ahead of the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final at Wembley stadium on Tuesday, which is Spurs’ temporary home until their revamped stadium is completed.

But Abramovich is concerned that the club’s recent efforts to warn fans against antisemitic chanting have not worked, after offensive songs were heard during Chelsea’s most recent European match in Budapest last month. An ongoing UEFA investigation into Chelsea supporters’ actions could lead to severe penalties.

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