Chelsea fans accused of anti-Semitism – days after club launches anti-hate campaign
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Chelsea fans accused of anti-Semitism – days after club launches anti-hate campaign

Supporters heard chanting racist abuse during Watford match on Monday night, less than a week after team vowed to tackle problem

Andrew Sherwood is the Jewish News Sport and Community Editor

Chelsea launched its campaign to tackle antisemitism in January 2018
Chelsea launched its campaign to tackle antisemitism in January 2018

Chelsea supporters were heard singing anti-Semitic songs during Monday night’s match against Watford – just days after the club launched a project to stamp out the scourge.

The Premier League champions officially launched their campaign last Wednesday, which was backed by Jewish owner Roman Abramovich, who dedicated the game to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and Jewish community.

However, a Chelsea supporter who was at the game, has told how he witnessed a torrent of anti-Semitic abuse from his fellow supporters, and was moved to another part of the ground “for his own safety.”

Jonathan Metliss, who is also the chairman of the Action Against Discrimination charity, said he was left “disgusted” with the chanting he heard. He told jewishnews.co.uk: “They were singing all the usual songs, the song, to the tune of Smoke gets in your eyes, about Martin Chivers being a Jew and being circumcised, along with the usual yiddo chants.”

Taking pictures of the alleged perpetrators, he reported it to nearby stewards, and was then moved to the family enclosure.

Metliss added: “Watford has said they will investigate, with the CCTV footage they have and hopefully these perpetrators will get caught and punished.”

Chelsea released a statement on Tuesday evening, confirming they had launched an investigation. It read: “Antisemitism has no place in our club, football or wider society.

“Anyone found guilty of antisemitic language or behaviour will face action from the club, including bans, and will be asked to attend equality education courses.

“We welcome the fact that Chelsea fans have reported this behaviour, which shames our club.”

“We ask all fans who share our vision for a game open to all to report any kind of discrimination they witness or experience.

“We will be working closely with the police and Watford to identify those responsible and will take the appropriate action.”

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