Chelsea escape UEFA punishment over alleged anti-Semitic chanting

Chelsea, Clubs, English Premier League, Story, UEFA Europa League
Despite Maurizio Sarri benching Kepa Arrizabalaga after his Carabao Cup antics, Chelsea added to Tottenham’s woes with a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.
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Despite Maurizio Sarri benching Kepa Arrizabalaga after his Carabao Cup antics, Chelsea added to Tottenham’s woes with a comfortable 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have escaped a partial stadium closure after UEFA closed an investigation into alleged anti-Semitic chanting by their supporters during a Europa League game against Vidi in Hungary back in December without punishment.

If the charge had been upheld, part of Stamford Bridge would have been closed for the home leg of Chelsea’s round-of-16 clash with Dynamo Kiev, scheduled for March 7.

Chelsea are still facing potential UEFA disciplinary action as a result of the alleged actions of their supporters against Malmo in the Europa League round of 32, with separate charges of throwing of objects and field invasion by supporters to be considered on March 28.

UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against Chelsea on a charge of racist behaviour in January following reports on social media of anti-Semitic chanting coming from the section of Groupama Arena that housed the 1,273 Chelsea supporters who had travelled to Budapest.

Shortly after the game a Chelsea spokesman condemned the chants, claiming they had “shamed the club.”

The decision of UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body is particularly embarrassing for Chelsea, who have gone to great lengths in their attempts to eradicate anti-Semitism from football since launching a targeted campaign at the urging of owner Roman Abramovich in January 2018.

Holocaust survivor Harry Spiro was invited to Cobham to address the first-team squad that same month, while Chelsea sent a delegation to attend the annual March of the Living at Auschwitz the following April.

This was followed in June by an official visit, consisting of 150 supporters and club officials, to the Nazi concentration camp.

Chelsea announced in December that they will play Major League Soccer club New England Revolution in a postseason friendly, branded “Game for Change,” as part of their campaign against anti-Semitism.

Abramovich and Revolution owner Robert Kraft, who are both Jewish, have pledged to donate $1 million (£778,565) to the fight against anti-Semitism, with all money from ticket sales also going to the cause.

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