English Premiership

Premier League calls on fans to behave

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EPL new logo (Premier League website)
EPL new logo (Premier League website)

London - The Premier League published a message to fans on Friday calling on them to support their teams in the right way following recent incidents of abuse that have blighted the game.

Raheem Sterling was subjected to alleged racial abuse during Manchester City's defeat at Chelsea last week.

The England forward later issued a statement accusing the British media of fuelling racism in the way it reports certain stories about black players.

Chelsea banned four supporters pending an investigation and were then forced to condemn anti-Semitic chanting during Thursday's Europa League tie with Vidi in Budapest.

A Tottenham fan was also arrested during the recent north London derby at Arsenal after a banana skin was thrown onto the pitch in the direction of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as he celebrated putting the Gunners ahead.

With a packed festive schedule to come, the Premier League has asked for any abuse to be reported.

"Some brilliant football has been played this Premier League season and the vast majority of fans have generated exciting and passionate atmospheres in stadiums," the statement said.

"However, there have been incidents recently where a very small minority have behaved unacceptably.

"As we head into the festive season, with matches coming thick and fast, we ask all supporters to get behind their teams in passionate, positive and respectful ways. Support for a club should never include excessive aggression or discrimination towards the opposition."

Chelsea earlier promised to take the "strongest possible action" against any supporters found to have sung an anti-Semitic chant in Budapest.

Minutes into the match with Vidi, which ended 2-2, a vocal minority of Chelsea fans were heard singing a derogatory chant about Tottenham supporters, featuring anti-Semitic language.

Chelsea in January launched a campaign to raise awareness and educate fans about anti-Semitism in football and the club, including owner Roman Abramovich, who is Jewish, have expressed disgust at the latest incident.

"Anti-Semitism and any other kind of race-related or religious hatred is abhorrent to this club and the overwhelming majority of our fans," said a Chelsea spokesperson. "It has no place at Chelsea or in any of our communities.

Anti-discrimination leaders and Jewish groups condemned the chanting.

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