Chelsea have pledged to take the “strongest possible action” after a video circulated on social media of a spectator allegedly using “abusive language of a sectarian nature” towards Aston Villa’s John McGinn.
The club have launched an investigation into abuse apparently directed at Scotland midfielder McGinn as he prepared to take a corner during Saturday’s Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, which Chelsea won 3-0. The west London club have appealed for help in identifying the alleged culprit.
“We are aware of a video circulating on social media showing an individual using abusive language of a sectarian nature in the crowd at Stamford Bridge on Saturday,” a Chelsea statement read. “Chelsea Football Club finds all forms of discriminatory behaviour totally unacceptable and we condemn the language used.
“The club is working to identify the person involved and will take the strongest possible action against them. Any supporter who has information that can assist the club’s investigation should contact the club via our discrimination reporting line: 020 7386 3355.”
Jordan Allison, the Scottish campaign manager for the anti-discrimination charity Show Racism the Red Card, said: “The language used is anti-Irish and anti-Catholic racism. It is unacceptable in football and anywhere in society. Our charity encourages anyone who hears this type of abuse to safely challenge and report it.
“We offer our support to any individual or organisation seeking to reflect on their behaviours or use of language, and become more confident in recognising, challenging and supporting the victims of racism.”
Villa have thanked Chelsea for taking action over the incident in a statement of their own. “Aston Villa will fully support that investigation,” the statement said. “Both clubs have zero tolerance for the scourge of discrimination in any form when it occurs in our stadia.
“Aston Villa are grateful to our friends at Chelsea FC for their swift and decisive action in both condemning the bigotry aimed at John McGinn at Stamford Bridge and in launching an investigation to identify the culprit.”