Wed, Mar 20, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Chelsea files racial complaint with UEFA


Chelsea midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi celebrates after scoring in their UEFA Europa League round-of-16 against Dynamo Kyiv at NSK Olimpiyskiy in Kiev, Ukraine, on Thursday last week.

Photo: AFP

Chelsea made a complaint to UEFA about racist abuse being aimed at one of its players by Dynamo Kiev fans during a Europa League match, the English club said on Monday.

The abuse — reportedly targeted at Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, who is black — took place near the end of its 5-0 win in the round-of-16 on Thursday last week and was reported to the referee at the final whistle.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck and club secretary David Barnard then spoke to UEFA’s match delegate.

“We wholeheartedly condemn such abhorrent behavior,” Chelsea said in a statement. “We expect UEFA to conduct a fulsome investigation.”

Chelsea did not specify which player was the target of the racist abuse.

The club made the statement just hours before England called up Hudson-Odoi to participate in the European Championship qualifiers.

“It’s a dream come true,” said the winger, who replaced the injured Luke Shaw and did not comment on the apparent racist abuse in Ukraine.

“Now I’ve got to work hard, enjoy every moment and keep working to just hopefully make an impact when I get the opportunity,” he said.

Britain’s Press Association reported that monkey chants were heard coming from a small group of Dynamo Kiev fans in the corner of the end Chelsea was attacking.

That part of the stadium is home to the Rodychi fan group, which displays far-right symbols and was accused of involvement in several violent attacks the last time Dynamo hosted Chelsea.

In 2015, Dynamo fans attacked at least eight Chelsea supporters during a Champions League game. Most of the victims were black, and some were white who tried to protect the black fans.

UEFA’s anti-discrimination monitoring partner, FARE, which sends observers to major European games, captured video of four black men being chased through the crowd. The incidents all occurred in and around the Rodychi sector, although the group denied wrongdoing.

Dynamo was ordered to play two matches behind closed doors and fined 100,000 euros (US$113, 588 at the current exchange rate).

Both punishments were halved in the appeals process.

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