Cesc Fabregas claims Chelsea are being scapegoated over racism allegations
The club has been forced to react to the behaviour of a minority of supporters for the second time in a week after anti-Semitic chanting was heard during the Europa League match against Mol Vidi in Budapest.
It was fellow Chelsea supporters using social media who drew attention to a derogatory song aimed at rivals Tottenham which contained the word ‘Yid’.
Last Saturday four fans were accused of aiming racist abuse at Manchester City’s black forward Raheem Sterling. Two men have since come forward but deny using racist language.
Midfielder Fabregas condemns racism but feels the problem is bigger than one club.
He said: “It's easy to point now at the Chelsea supporters that did that. Unfortunately this happens in many places. It's true it happened this weekend, we cannot deny that, but to point the finger at one football club because of that I think it's really unfair.
“There's an investigation, the club is dealing with this very, very well. Whatever needs to be done will be done. I've no doubt about that.
“I don't know who is responsible for these things but, once again, I cannot accept or I cannot agree with this. This happens to all football clubs.
“There's always insults; I've had so many of them over the years when you warm up and even jokes. That's fine for me. When we cross the line with racism, it's too far, it shouldn't be allowed.
“The people that get caught, they will be punished for it and they will be taught a big lesson in their lives. I hope this will help for many other reasons in life.
I don't want that image anywhere. I repeat: I think it's really unfair to point the finger at one football club, just because of one, two, three, four people.
“They don't deserve to be in the stadium. We all agree about that. If that means or this helps in this situation for this not to happen somewhere else, all over the world, not only in football, any kind of sport or social life.”
Fabregas has no problem with Chelsea’s problems being used to tackle racism on a wider scale.
UEFA are awaiting the report from match referee Aleksandar Stavrev before deciding whether or not action is required from them.
Fabregas said: “If we have to be taught a lesson at Chelsea to improve whatever happens around the world, then I'm happy. But to point the finger at one football club because of three or four of these people, I don't think it's deserved and I don't agree with that.”
The Police are investigating last weekend’s incident as a possible hate crime. Chelsea issued a strongly-worded statement in response to the last night’s events.
It read: “Antisemitism and any other kind of race-related or religious hatred is abhorrent to this club and the overwhelming majority of our fans. It has no place at Chelsea or in any of our communities.
“We have stated this loud and clear on many occasions from the owner, the board, coaches and players.
"Any individuals that can’t summon the brainpower to comprehend this simple message and are found to have shamed the club by used using anti-Semitic or racist words or actions will face the strongest possible action from the club.”
Racist abuse in football is on the rise with anti-discrimination pressure group Kick It Out reporting an 11 per cent increase in the number of cases last season: Up to 520 from 469 in 2016/17.
Fabregas was unaware of the latest claims involving Chelsea fans and the Spaniard said: “First time I hear about this.
"All I can say is when I'm in the street, when I'm at Stamford Bridge, all over the world when we've travelled with Chelsea they've been amazing to me and to the team.
“This is not the real face of Chelsea. I'm sorry to hear that. If something happened it will be dealt with. The focus now is on Chelsea for what happened.
"Unfortunately if we look around carefully all over the world, all sports, all football clubs, we will find things like that. The quicker we get rid of these people, the better.”
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