The Metropolitan Police have launched investigations into racist behaviour by a Chelsea fan at last night’s Capital One Cup tie at Stamford Bridge, with the club promising to take the “strongest possible action” after the fan was pictured mimicking a monkey gesture towards Danny Welbeck.
There’s a real sense of irony surrounding the club now seeing as Chelsea lodged a formal complaint with the FA regarding referee Mark Clattenburg’s alleged racist comments towards John Obi Mikel just a few hours before this photo was taken. Manchester United fans brought a banner to the game claiming “Chelsea – Standing up to racism since Sunday,” but their stance now looks uneven.
The fan in question has not been identified but the club are currently investigating the picture, which also features Danny Welbeck. This is the second time in the last two years an opposing supporter has been caught mimicking racial behaviour. During the summer a Liverpool supporter received a four-year ban for an identical action towards Patrice Evra. However Phillip Gannon, the Liverpool fan, idiotically claimed he was impersonating a Neanderthal and pleaded not guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence and using threatening or anti-social behaviour causing harassment, alarm or distress. Offended by everything, ashamed of nothing.
As a result, Gannon cannot attend Liverpool matches for a four-year period. The ban also means he cannot be in Liverpool city centre four hours before and after a match. The former carpenter was also fined a total of £180 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £300.
A statement from Chelsea read: “Chelsea Football Club can confirm we are investigating an incident involving a member of the crowd at last night’s game against Manchester United.
“The club will be examining all available footage and asks anyone who can identify the individual to contact the club.
“Chelsea FC is committed to removing all forms of discrimination and if we have sufficient evidence we will take the strongest possible action, including supporting criminal prosecution.”
Hopefully the Chelsea supporter is dealt with sooner rather than later. It hasn’t been a proud week for the club, despite making the quater-finals of the Capital One Cup. Since welcoming United to Stamford Bridge on Sunday, they have injured their own steward, ripped up seats, and thrown coins onto the pitch at Javier Hernandez. Don’t be fooled by their moral high ground stance.