UEFA closes case against Chelsea for alleged racist chanting
The Blues were initially charged following allegations from their Europa League clash with Vidi but no punishment will be handed down
Chelsea will face no action for alleged racist behaviour by fans in a Europa League match against Vidi after UEFA closed the disciplinary case.
The incidents are said to have taken place during their 2-2 group stage draw in Hungary on December 13.
They occurred just three days after four Chelsea fans were suspended by the club after claims they racially abused Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling during a Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea reacted angrily at the time, releasing a statement denouncing those said to be involved.
It read: “Anti-Semitism and any kind of racial 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.
“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.”
Punishments available to UEFA included the partial closure of Stamford Bridge for European games if Chelsea were found guilty. However, UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body confirmed on Thursday that proceedings against the west London club have been closed.
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck responded to both incidents by greeting Chelsea fans at the turnstiles before their game against Brighton on December 16 to warn them against anti-social behaviour.
Steve Atkins, Chelsea’s director of communications and public affairs, was also present at the Amex Stadium as the club’s hierarchy took decisive action to try and improve supporter behaviour.
In January, Chelsea launched a ‘Say No to Anti-Semitism’ scheme in an attempt to educate fans on anti-Semitism.
The campaign organised a trip for 150 people, who were a mixture of club staff, stewards and fans, to learn about the Holocaust with trips to Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps.
A number of Chelsea supporter groups also joined forces to form ‘Chelsea Together’, a group independent from the club with the aim of educating fans and eradicating racist and abusive behaviour.
Elsewhere, Ricardo Quaresma has been given a three-game ban for a stamp on Malmo’s Franz Brorsson in Besiktas’ 1-0 group-stage defeat in December.
The Portugal winger will be suspended for the next three UEFA competition matches for which he is eligible after being found guilty of “assaulting another player”.