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'Racist behaviour' halts Spurs-Chelsea as Rudiger apparently targeted

Eoin Harte
Eoin Harte

06:43 22 Dec 2019

Racist behaviour towards Antonio Rudiger during the Tottenham-Chelsea match this afternoon led to a temporary halt of the match.

Referee Anthony Taylor paused the match during the second half when an object was thrown onto the pitch in the direction of the Chelsea defender.

The Germany international approached the referee, and shortly after an announcement was released over the public address system, saying ‘Racist behaviour among spectators is interfering with the game. Please remember that there is no room for racism in football.’

Following the match, Spurs have said they are “conducting a thorough investigation” and added that the “strongest possible action” would be taken against anyone found to have participated.

Meanwhile, Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta illuminated the procedure for players to report racist incidents.

“We have meetings with the Premier League before every game, and we have been told to report straight away to the referee if any incident of racism happens.

“Rüdiger came to me and told me he heard some racist songs toward him, so I reported to the ref immediately and left it to the ref to do his job.

"We are very concerned and very aware of this behaviour and we need to stop it. Now I hope everything gets clear and we eradicate it as soon as possible. It’s an issue not only in football but in life.”

The incident comes as a series of high-profile racist incidents in the game that have brought the issue to the fore.

England's Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria was marred by incessant racist chanting from the home crowd in Sofia, while a supporter at the Manchester derby was filmed making monkey gestures towards Manchester United players.

The individual has since been charged and bailed.

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Antonio Rudiger Chelsea Racism Racist Rudiger Tottenham

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