Tottenham 0-2 Chelsea: PFA wants inquiry after alleged racism mars match

The Professional Footballers’ Association has called for a government inquiry into racism in football after Chelsea’s Premier League win at Tottenham was marred by alleged racist behaviour from the crowd.

Referee Anthony Taylor stopped play during the second half after Blues defender Antonio Rudiger complained of hearing monkey noises.

Tottenham have vowed to “take the strongest possible action” and said they will conduct “a thorough investigation”.

Shortly after the stoppage, an announcement made over the public address system warned that “racist behaviour is interfering with the game”.

Second and third addresses followed with the game heading towards its conclusion.

The PFA said: “We are disgusted and dismayed that once again, a Premier League fixture has been tainted by abuse from the stands towards players.

“It has become clear that football players are on the receiving end of the blatant racism that is currently rife in the UK, but they are not alone.

“The PFA stands beside every player who faces discrimination. We will continue to fight on their behalf to combat this issue for good.

“Football is part of the fabric of British society – with the huge global audience that English football attracts, we have a responsibility to lead the way with a zero-tolerance policy.”

The PFA added that “all governing bodies” and “all football stakeholders” should work together to “confront, challenge and eradicate racist abuse in our stadiums and in our country”.

It said: “The PFA calls for a government inquiry into racism within football and encourage the establishment of an All-Party Group at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.”

Spurs confirmed that they will be liaising with Chelsea and their players for their observations.

“Any form of racism is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our stadium,” said Spurs in a statement.

“We take any such allegations extremely seriously and shall take the strongest possible action against any individual found to be behaving in such a way, including stadium bans.”

The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) and Tottenham have confirmed that the game was stopped over a single incident of alleged racist behaviour.

Tottenham forward Son Heung-min had been sent off after a second-half clash involving Rudiger moments earlier.

The match was also held up when objects were thrown towards Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Rudiger has since tweeted: “It is really sad to see racism again at a football match, but I think it’s very important to talk about it in public. If not, it will be forgotten again in a couple of days (as always).

“I don’t want to involve Tottenham as an entire club into this situation as I know that just a couple of idiots were the offenders. I got a lot of supportive messages on social media from Spurs fans as well in the last hours – thank you a lot for this.

“I really hope that the offenders will be found and punished soon, and in such a modern football ground like the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with dozens of TV and security cameras, it must be possible to find and subsequently punish them.

“If not, then there must have been witnesses in the stadium who saw and heard the incident. It’s just such a shame that racism still exists in 2019. When will this nonsense stop?”

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