Tottenham Fans Repeatedly Warned About Racist Behaviour During Chelsea Match

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistDecember 22, 2019

Chelsea's German defender Antonio Rudiger throws an object off the playing surface during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on December 22, 2019. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Tottenham Hotspur's game against Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday was marred when members of the home crowd were warned about alleged racist behaviour, per Associated Press reporter Rob Harris:

Rob Harris @RobHarris

Tottenham stadium announcer: "Racist behaviour from spectators is interfering with the game"

Chelsea won the game 2-0, but abuse was said to be levied toward Antonio Rudiger after the centre-back was involved in an altercation with Heung-Min Son. The Tottenham striker was sent off after VAR deemed he had kicked out at Germany international Rudiger, who made referee Anthony Taylor aware of the abuse, according to Matt Maltby of the Sunday Mirror.

Further warnings were needed from the announcer at Tottenham Hotspur stadium:

Rob Harris @RobHarris

2nd warning in stadium about racism at Spurs-Chelsea https://t.co/9OpLG7Z25n

Charlie Eccleshare @CDEccleshare

And the message is relayed for a third time. This is so bleak.

An object also appeared to be thrown Rudiger's way after Son had left the pitch. He alerted his skipper, Cesar Azpilicueta, who in turn informed Taylor about the incidents.

Three separate announcements were then made calling for an end to the behaviour. Harris outlined how there might have been some confusion of the rules governing in-match responses to racism:

Rob Harris @RobHarris

Premier League not certain have been 3 separate racism incidents in Spurs-Chelsea game yet. Here's FIFA protocol that all competitions are told to follow https://t.co/J44m0bIXsS

However, the Professional Game Match Officials Limited board confirmed the correct procedures had been followed:

Carrie Brown @CarrieBrownTV

PGMOL confirm that anti-racist protocol did not go beyond stage one. Tannoy warning was just the first warning on repeat. No escalation. #TOTCHE

After the match, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard confirmed Rudiger was the target of the racist chants that led to the warnings.

Former Tottenham midfielder and BBC pundit Jermaine Jenas called for the individuals responsible for any abuse to be identified and banned, per BBC Sport: "With the technology they have in this stadium, I would be shocked if they could not pinpoint the individual. That person will be isolated and dealt with accordingly. There is no place for it but I want more than an announcement. I do not want them back in the stadium ever again - sadly some people are that ignorant."

The same report noted how UEFA protocol says a match can be abandoned after two previous warnings have been given.

Meanwhile, Oliver Holt of Mail on Sunday called for action against Spurs after previous incidents if the latest allegations are proven:

Oliver Holt @OllieHolt22

Spurs fan banned for throwing a banana at Aubameyang 12 months ago. Now allegations of racist abuse at Spurs stadium. If this was an eastern European club or country, we'd be condemning them. If today's allegations proven, Spurs should face sanctions.

Technology is playing a key role in the Premier League's attempts to respond to incidents of racist behaviour. An arrest was made after the Manchester derby earlier this month when Manchester United players were subjected to offensive chants during a 2-1 win over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, per BBC News.

The man arrested had been identified after a video of his actions appeared on social media. He was subsequently granted bail.