Blues call on fans to stop anti-Semitic chant

AFP
Chelsea urges its fans to stop singing a song about striker Alvaro Morata containing an anti-Semitic lyric that was heard during Saturday's game at Leicester City.
AFP

Chelsea was forced to plead with its fans to ditch an anti-Semitic song about the club's striker Alvaro Morata after they sang the offensive chant during a 2-1 English Premier League win at Leicester City on Saturday.

Morata scored his third goal for Chelsea since his club-record move from Real Madrid to open the scoring.

But the adulation for the Spain star turned ugly as Chelsea's traveling fans unveiled a song aimed at their hated London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, which has traditionally attracted support from London's Jewish communities.

"Alvaro, Alvaro. He comes from Madrid, he hates the f****** Yids," sang Chelsea supporters at the King Power Stadium.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was asked about the song and its anti-Semitic content at the post-match press conference but head of communications and public affairs Steve Atkins quickly stepped in.

"I don't think Antonio was aware of the song so if I can just speak on behalf of the club," 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."

A post-match tweet from Morata vaguely alluded to the outcry about the chant, The Associated Press reported.

"Since I arrived, I have been able to feel your support every single day, you are amazing," the Spaniard's Twitter account read, "and I'd like to ask you to please respect everyone!"

English soccer's anti-discrimination body welcomed Chelsea's swift condemnation and called for a criminal investigation.

"There is no place for such disgusting chants at football matches and in wider society," Kick It Out said in a statement. "The organization 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."

It is not the first time Chelsea fans have been caught making offensive chants in recent years.

Videos appeared on social media of some supporters singing anti-Semitic songs ahead of the team's FA Cup semifinal against Tottenham in April.

Chelsea fans also pushed a black commuter off a Metro train in Paris in February 2015 ahead of a UEFA Champions League tie.

Reuters

Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata celebrates scoring the team's first goal against Leicester City with teammate Marcos Alonso during their English Premier League match at Kingpower Stadium in Leicester on September 9, 2017. Chelsea won 2-1.


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