Chelsea bans fans over video calling Liverpool’s Salah a ‘bomber’

26th Apr 2019
Chelsea bans fans over video calling Liverpool’s Salah a ‘bomber’

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah subject to yet more Islamophobic abuse
(Photo: Kirill Venediktov/WikiCommons)

Nadine Osman

Chelsea prevented three people from entering the stadium for Europa League quarter-final at Slavia Prague on April 11 after a video showed them singing an abusive song about Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.

The group were apparently chanting “Salah is a bomber” repeatedly. Liverpool said the video showed “vile discriminatory chants” and was “dangerous and disturbing”.
Three of the six people in the video were identified and barred.

The Metropolitan Police said it would seek to apply for civil football banning orders for anyone identified engaging in racist chanting.

Egypt forward Salah, who made 13 appearances for Chelsea before leaving for Roma in 2016, is a practising Muslim and has previously faced abuse about his religion.
Chelsea, who are working with police and Liverpool, said the people concerned were an “embarrassment”. The individuals will face bans from the club if they are found to be season ticket holders or members.

A spokesman for Liverpool FC said, “This behaviour needs to be called out for what it is – unadulterated bigotry, 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.”

Jürgen Klopp has said the Chelsea fans who abused Salah should be banned from football for life and are symptomatic of a wider problem that demands a stronger reaction from the game’s authorities.

“It’s disgusting,” said Klopp. “Another example of something which absolutely should not happen. We should not see it as a Chelsea thing or a Liverpool thing. It’s another sign that something is going wrong out there at the moment. It’s still only a few people doing it, but the stronger the reaction is from all of us, the more it will help to avoid things like this in the future.

“These guys now are football fans and if you do something like that you should not be able to enter a stadium again, in my point of view, in your life.”

Chelsea released a statement during their match, saying the club finds “all forms of discriminatory behaviour abhorrent. Where there is clear evidence of Chelsea season ticket holders or members involved in such behaviour, we will take the strongest possible action against them,” it added.

“Such individuals are an embarrassment to the vast majority of Chelsea supporters, who won’t tolerate them in their club.”

Anti-discrimination organisation Kick It Out said: “It’s not on the terraces, but it’s still a disgrace and discriminatory. We don’t want fans like that anywhere near our game.”
There have been several high-profile incidents of discriminatory abuse in football over recent months.

This is not the first time Salah has been subject to Islamophobia from football fans.
In February West Ham United fans were recorded of screaming “f**king Muslim”’ when the London club hosted Liverpool in the Premier League.

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