Britain’s government has warned against racism in football saying “further steps” will be taken if football associations fail to stop the ugly trend.
The warning follows Sunday’s premier league match between Tottenham and Chelsea in which Spurs fans made monkey chants at Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger and bottles pelted at keeper Kepa.
The Professional Footballers’ Association has called for a government inquiry following the alleged abuse and the government has responded.
“Racism of any kind has no place in football or anywhere else and we must confront this vile behaviour,” said a Downing Street spokesperson.
“Clearly there remains more work to be done by the football authorities in tackling this issue and we are committed to working with them on this to stamp it out.
“The FA, Premier League and English Football League have significantly stepped up their efforts, but we expect them to continue to prioritise this issue and to consult with both players and supporter groups, and we will be monitoring how the football authorities implement their plans through the season.
“We will continue working with the authorities on this, including the Professional Footballers’ Association and we don’t rule out taking further steps if required.”
Rudiger reported the alleged racist attack to Captain Cesar Azpilicueta who told referee Anthony Taylor. Taylor then informed officials on the touchline.
An announcement was made shortly after that “racist behaviour is interfering with the game”. Two more announcements were made before the end of the game.
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police is working with Tottenham to identify anyone responsible, with the club promising to “take the strongest possible action”.
Professional Footballers’ Association’s equalities coach, Iffy Onuora, told BBC Sport, that racism increased in the UK due to the Brexit referendum.
“There is upheaval following the [Brexit] referendum and the election and that’s caused this fracture,” he said.
“That emboldens people. It’s been legitimised by some of the language from the politicians. We lost an MP only four years ago and we think that was such a seminal moment but that’s been and gone and we’ve used that as a moment to think what are we doing here.
“Things have got worse if anything and how can that be? Somehow we have to look at this differently and be bolder.”
The FA has also released a statement saying, “We are working with the match officials, the clubs and the relevant authorities to fully establish the facts and take the appropriate steps.”
“One incident is one incident too many,” Premier League chief executive, Richard Masters said.
“We want to encourage fans when they see other supporters making discriminative comments, abusing other people they do report it and that’s important.”