Liverpool have condemned a video that appears to show a group of Chelsea supporters singing a discriminatory song about Mohamed Salah as “dangerous and disturbing”.
Chelsea barred three people from entering their Europa League quarter-final first leg against Slavia Prague on Thursday night after the video circulated on social media.
Salah the target of racist abuse: Five key things to know…
- Chelsea were in the Czech Republic on Thursday ahead of their European meeting with Slavia Prague.
- Footage circulating on social media captured a group of Chelsea fans making Islamaphobic chants.
- Salah, a practising Muslim, faced alleged Islamophobic abuse in a match at West Ham United in February.
- The Egyptian played for Chelsea between 2014 and 2016 before leaving for AS Roma and subsequently joining Liverpool.
- Liverpool face Chelsea in the Premier League this weekend.
Before Thursday’s match, Chelsea identified three of the six people in the video and prevented them from entering Slavia Prague’s stadium.
In a statement, Chelsea confirmed they are working to identify the other three people and will “take the strongest possible action against” those who are found to be season ticket holders.
Liverpool released a statement of their own on Thursday evening, calling out the “unadulterated bigotry” demonstrated by the people in the video.
The statement read: “The video circulating online, showing vile discriminatory chants being aimed at one of our players, is dangerous and disturbing.
“Already this season, we have seen repulsive discriminatory abuse inside stadiums in England, Europe and across the world; abuse that was captured on devices and put into the public domain. We have also witnessed numerous hateful attacks on social media.
“This behaviour needs to be called out for what it is – unadulterated bigotry.
“Liverpool Football Club believes it is the responsibility of those in positions of authority, following proper process, to act urgently to identify and then punish anyone committing a hate crime.
“There is no place for this behaviour in football, there is no place for it in society. A crime of this nature has more victims than any individual it is aimed at and, as such, collective and decisive action is needed to address it.
“As pertains to this latest incident, the club is working with Merseyside Police to ascertain the facts around this footage with the aim of identifying individuals featuring in it.
“In addition, we are working directly with Chelsea Football Club on the matter. We thank them for their condemnation and a commitment to act urgently to identify any individuals responsible.”
Arsenal to investigate alleged racial abuse of Kalidou Koulibaly
Arsenal have also launched an investigation following an alleged incident of racial abuse during the club’s Europa League match against Napoli at the Emirates.
A video purporting to show an Arsenal supporter aiming racially abusive language towards Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly circulated on social media on Thursday evening.
In a statement given to Sky Sports News, Arsenal said: “We utterly condemn the use of any racist language and have launched an investigation to identify the culprit.
“We operate a zero tolerance approach, and anyone behaving like this is not welcome at Arsenal and will be banned from matches.
“We have an extremely diverse community of fans who are all part of the Arsenal family and such incidents are rare at Emirates Stadium. We encourage supporters to report any incidents as they happen to stewards or via our matchday alert service.”