While there were allegations of abuse toward several players, only one visiting Chelsea fan was arrested for harassing Tottenham winger Son Heung-min. Chelsea defender Antonio Rüdiger also reported hearing monkey chants, although Metropolitan Police have so far been “inconclusive” in their investigation.
There were no immediate explanations for the exact racist behavior toward Son, but it likely had to do with the red card he drew. The South Korean player was sent off in the second half after VAR showed him kicking Rüdiger in the chest after he had been fouled.
“Chelsea Football Club will not tolerate any form of racism, nor is there a place at this club for anyone who is found to have engaged in such behavior,” Chelsea said in a statement, via the AP. “If a season ticket holder or member is involved, we will take the strongest possible action against them including bans. We will also support any potential criminal proceedings by the relevant authorities.”
Rüdiger said that the abuse he received came from the home crowd after Son kicked him. Unfortunately, monkey chants and racist abuse have become all too common in European soccer.
Just to name a few incidents, Calgiari fans have harassed Romelu Lukaku and other black players. Continued abuse online led Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte to call for lifetime bans to racist fans. And just a few weeks ago, Manchester City fans hurled lighters and racist abuse toward Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard and Fred.
Racist abuse toward Asians also has hit the news recently with FIFA suspending Bahrain defender Sayed Baqer 10 games for making a slanted-eye gesture at a fan in Hong Kong. The governing body doubled the minimum suspension for racism from five games to 10 in July, leading to calls for other groups to handle more punitive punishments to fans.
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