Antonio Rudiger was apparently racially abused at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium during Chelsea’s emphatic win over Spurs in the Premier League on Sunday. The German defender reported the alleged incident to referee Anthony Taylor, who consulted with Jose Mourinho and Frank Lampard as well as the 4th official. The game was briefly stopped as the officials tried to assess the situation. It also led to the stadium announcement stating that racist behaviour from the spectators was interfering with the game.
Tottenham were already under immense pressure before the racist incident marred the game. Mourinho’s boys were outplayed by his former side, as the home team failed to deal with the tempo and precision of Lampard’s wards. William scored twice in the first half to set up a comfortable night for the Blues. After the break, Heung-Min Son received his marching orders, after interference from VAR, for a silly kick-out at Rudiger. The 10-man Tottenham team fought valiantly until the end, but Chelsea stayed in total control of the game and used their numerical advantage well.
Abuse brings play to a stop
The home side were already outclassed on the pitch, but the racist allegations will further ruin their day. Objects were thrown at Kepa Arrizabalaga, the Chelsea keeper, which also caused a delay. However, things took a turn for the worse when Rudiger indicated that he had been racially abused by Tottenham fans from the stands. The German defender informed his captain Cesar Azpilicueta that he had heard the abuses, even making gestures with his hands that were visible to everyone watching the game and the message was passed on to the referee.
Three stadium announcements were made, attempting to calm down agitated fans and reminding them that racism has no place in football, as per the recently implemented protocol to fight racism in the Premier League. Antony Taylor also had a talk with both Mourinho and Lampard, as per the same protocol, before resuming the game. Due to the lengthy breaks arising from dealing with the racial abuse as well as VAR intervention on two important decisions, the game stretched into 8 minutes of added time.Published 23 Dec 2019, 00:55 IST