Tottenham say they are “conducting a thorough investigation” after an alleged incident of racism at today's Premier League fixture against Chelsea.
Referee Anthony Taylor stopped the game in the second half after he was approached by Antonio Rudiger who appeared to suggest a fan made a monkey gesture towards him.
Three announcements were made in the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, reminding fans there is “no place for racism in the game”. Spurs have launched an investigation that could end in a stadium ban for any identified culprits.
A Tottenham statement read: “We are now conducting a thorough investigation which will include liaising with Chelsea and their players for their observations.
“Any form of racism is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our stadium.
The game itself ended in a 2-0 win for Chelsea after two Willian goals in the first half.
Spurs finished with 10 men after Son Heung-Min was shown a straight red card for violent conduct in the second half. The result leaves Chelsea in fourth, while Tottenham are in seventh.
Chief executive of Show Racism the Red Card, Ged Grebby, hit out at the “disgraceful” incident at Tottenham and called for a swift response.
“Racism is a massive problem in society and it’s coming back into football, but in terms of what happened, I think the protocol worked well and now we need to identify who these people were,” Grebby said on Sky Sports News.
“I have no doubt given the player’s reaction and how animated he was and mocking the gesture himself, that it happened.
“We need to make sure the fan or group of fans because it looked like it was a group, whoever it was we find out who they are and action is taken against them.
“If we are to stop racism within football and within society, we need to make sure it is clamped down when we get incidents like this.”
Rudiger later posted on his Twitter account about the incident.
He wrote: “Biiiiiiig Wiiin! 💙👊🏾👊🏽👊🏻 #NoToRacism #PleaseGetSomeBasicEducation #AlwaysBelieve #Hustle #cleansheet @ChelseaFC”
Anti-racism organisation Kick it Out later released a statement on Twitter.
It read: “We are aware of the alleged racist incidents at today’s game between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.
“We applaud the reaction of referee Anthony Taylor in following step one of the protocol and the ensuing steps taken by Tottenham Hotspur in repeating the stadium announcements.
“We have offered our support to both of the clubs and also to Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger.”