Chelsea have finally put an end to the racial discrimination case that they have been investigating for the past six months. In April 2019, after Chelsea’s quarter-finals match of the UEFA Europa league against Slavia Prague, a fan complained of being racially abused during the match.
BBC sport reported that a 20-year old fan, Jerome Bailey, was subjected to slurs about his skin and hair during the match at Slavia Prague, action against which has been taken now. The length of the ban on the three fans is yet to be determined although a lifetime ban is a strong possibility.
Bailey, talking to BBC Sport, said that he was disappointed over the investigation taking so long to pan out. “It’s the result I wanted all along but it’s unfortunate and disappointing that it’s taken so long to get to this point,” he was quoted as saying. “Maybe Chelsea need to look at how efficient their procedures are in this area.”
“It’s good that zero tolerance is not an empty promise in this case,” he said.
“I just wanted to know that the team I follow cared a little. I didn’t feel like I should have been the one to approach the club – they should have been telling me what was happening.”
Chelsea said it took time to identify the alleged abusers but accepted they could have made contact sooner, and apologised Bailey in written.
It would be worrying for Chelsea and football as a whole with increasing reports of racism. For Chelsea, it hasn’t been the first such report. Last season, they had put a lifetime ban on a fan for using racially abusive language towards Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling during a match at Stamford Bridge. Five other supporters were also temporarily suspended. This is just considering one club and there have been many such incidents in the recent past which have been, worryingly, on the rise.