‘No brainpower’: Chelsea hit out at own fans for anti-Semitic chants at Europa League game
A small group among the estimated 1,200 Chelsea fans at the Groupama Arena in Budapest were reportedly heard chanting "Barcelona, Real Madrid, Tottenham are a bunch of Yids... Yiddos," during the early stages of Thursday night’s match.
Chelsea issued a statement condemning the taunts as “abhorrent” and accusing the fans behind them of lacking “brainpower.”
"Anti-Semitism and any kind of racial or religious hatred is abhorrent to this club and the overwhelming majority of our fans," a spokesman said.
"It has no place at Chelsea or in any of our communities.
“Any individuals that can't summon the brainpower to comprehend this simple message and are found to have shamed the club by used using anti-Semitic or racist words or actions will face the strongest possible action from the club."
It comes less than a week after a group of Chelsea fans were seen hurling abuse at Manchester City striker Raheem Sterling during a Premier League encounter at Stamford Bridge.Also on rt.com ‘Newspapers helping fuel racism in football’: Sterling speaks out after alleged abuse at Chelsea
One fan was allegedly filmed calling the England international a “f***ing black c***,” although the supporter himself has denied using those words.
Four fans were handed "indefinite bans" over that incident, which the Metropolitan Police are also investigating.
The Chelsea hierarchy are said to be furious at the latest blow to the club's reputation in Budapest - not least because Russian owner Roman Abramovich is Jewish.
"It was a chant that Chelsea supporters have done in the past and it references Tottenham supporters using the 'y' word, the anti-Semitic derogatory word about Jewish people,” journalist Matt McGeehan told the BBC.
"I understand that Chelsea are angry from the top to the bottom of the club – the very top actually because owner Roman Abramovich is Jewish.
"They are furious. Not just that this has happened again to their club but because of the proximity to the incident last Saturday with Sterling."
UEFA will await the referee's report into Thursday's match – which ended 2-2 – before deciding on taking any action.
In October, Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said the club were prepared to send racist fans on educational trips to the former Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz in Poland.
“If you just ban people, you will never change their behavior,” Buck said at the time. “This policy gives them the chance to realize what they have done, to make them want to behave better.”