English Premier League powerhouse Chelsea said it would investigate an alleged racist gesture directed at Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min at Stamford Bridge during last Sunday’s match.
“We are investigating this incident,” the football club said on Thursday (18) and threatened to take “strongest action” if the abuser was identified.
Video footage showed a fan apparently making a racist gesture towards Heung-min when the South Korean star was taking a corner during the second half of the eventful match between the Blues and Tottenham last weekend.
The match eventually ended in a 2-2 after Spur’s striker Harry Kane scored a 96th-minute equaliser.
Chelsea said it found any form of discriminatory behaviour “totally abhorrent” which “has no place at Chelsea or in any of our communities.”
While asserting that it made its zero tolerance position on discriminatory behaviour “very clear” consistently, it said, “yet there are still idiots like this that attach themselves to this club as so-called ‘fans’.
Such behaviour “shames Chelsea FC, our coaches, players, staff and our true supporters”, the 177-year-old club said.
“We are clear that there can be no place in our game, nor our society, for racism, antisemitism or any form of discrimination,” Chelsea said.
It also recalled that its player Reece James suffered “disgusting and unacceptable racist abuse” on social media last year.
“Several of our players have been, and continue to be, the targets of hate and discrimination online,” it said adding, “we as a club will not tolerate this any longer.”
Heung-min has been the target of racist slurs for some time, having been at the receiving end of online abuse after Tottenham’s 3-1 loss to Manchester United more than a year ago. United suspended three season-ticket holders following the incident.
A West Ham fan was fined £184 after abusing Heung-min at the London Stadium in 2018. The forward was also racially abused while posing for a picture with a fan a year earlier.
Last Sunday’s tie saw Hotspur manager Antonio Conte and his Chelsea counterpart Thomas Tuchel sent off after the full-time whistle for their physical altercation.