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Chelsea slam fans after “unacceptable” incidents

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Chelsea have issued a statement condemning the behavior of a “vocal minority” of their fans who “refuse to join us in the 21st century.”

Chairman Bruce Buck issued the statement on the same day UEFA opened an investigation into alleged antisemitic chants by Chelsea fans during their Europa League game against Vidi last Thursday.

That incident, as well as Chelsea supporters appearing to take flags with nazi symbols along to Budapest with them, came just a few days after an investigation was launched into the alleged racist abuse of Raheem Sterling by four Chelsea supporters.

Buck revealed that Chelsea will continue its programs fighting antisemitism and racism present in the game, as they will also play a game against the New England Revolution in May to promote their ‘Say No to Antisemitism’ campaign.

Below is the statement from Chelsea in full.


After recent events, I wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to our community and fans to condemn the actions of a few mindless individuals at some of our recent matches. These actions are unacceptable and unwelcome both in our club and in football.

A deeply unpleasant but vocal minority which refuses to join us in the 21st century has shamed the great majority of our decent, well-behaved fans. We have been carrying out our own investigations into these events while cooperating fully with authorities. We have already suspended four individuals pending investigations and will continue to take the strongest possible action against anybody found to have been using discriminatory words or gestures. But we must all come together to stamp out these ugly scenes.

Over the past weeks, months and indeed years, I have spoken at length to various Chelsea fans and supporter groups, all of whom are in full agreement that the type of behaviour we have witnessed is wholly unacceptable, hurtful and does not represent the club or the overwhelming majority of those who follow our teams home and away.

The message from Mr Abramovich, our directors, our coaches, our players and our hundreds of staff is simple – this is a club open to everybody. We are committed and determined to be a force for good and not a symbol of society’s wider problems.

Our club prides itself on our inclusion and diversity work, and in particular that of the Chelsea Foundation, which since its birth in 2010 has grown into one of the most far-reaching social programmes in world sport. Its Building Bridges campaign has promoted equality within our club, our stadium and throughout our communities for nearly a decade.

Our Say No to Antisemitism campaign has received widespread backing since its launch in January and as a part of this, we will play a game next May against the New England Revolution in America. We also recently took part in the Rainbow Laces campaign, reinforcing our support for the Chelsea Pride group to increase visibility of and provide a representative voice for the club’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) fans, their friends and families.

Other activities include our equality and diversity workshops for primary school children and the annual Asian Star initiative, which for a decade has aimed to increase participation at all levels of the game in British-based Asian communities. Our Disability Showcase debuted in 2018 and saw more than 800 adults and children take part across two days at Stamford Bridge and Cobham. It will make a welcome return next summer.

With Frank Lampard leading the club’s efforts, we joined up with Kick It Out in 2010 to try and rid the game of the Y-word, and have frequently reiterated since, that what other clubs may deem acceptable from their supporters in the way of personal identification does not alter our position of zero tolerance. This will not change now or in the future.

Since 2007, we have provided an SMS service that makes it easier for supporters inside the stadium to report discriminatory behaviour at matches. That number is 07894 937793 and I urge our fans to use this where appropriate and help us beat the plague that threatens to overshadow the fantastic work this club does for inclusion and equality. Alternatively, you can email buildingbridges@chelseafc.com.

Clearly, there remains a way to go on this journey, but we will not rest until we have eliminated all forms of discrimination from our club. We will continue to work alongside our fans, anti-discrimination organisations and football authorities to create an environment where everyone feels welcome and valued.

If you do not share these values, this is not the club for you.

We must not allow a small minority of fans to bring further embarrassment upon us, and will continue to take the strongest possible action against them.

I ask our many thousands of match-going supporters and the millions more around the world to work together to help us confront this issue and remove discrimination from our game.

We are determined to win this battle, but we need the backing and action of those who share the principles of this great club.

Premier League social media wrap: Brighton, teqball, remembering Tiote

Premier League social media
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Premier League sides are fully back in the flow of training with scheduled matches coming within a fortnight.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live ]

So it’s no surprise that banter’s back, too.

That’s where we’ll start Friday, with Irish center back Shane Duffy making sure he’s keeping things light as Brighton and Hove Albion prepares to defend its Premier League place.

Duffy turned a sprinkler on his teammates at training, showing that, yes, your high school career has some things in common with Premier League footballers.

How about some skills as Manchester United gets ready for its return to the PL pitch?

Bruno Fernandes and Andreas Pereira tangled with Fred and Diogo Dalot in a match of Teqball.

You’ll have to watch to see who won.

There’s also a sad anniversary on this day.

It’s been three years since former Newcastle United wrecking ball Cheick Tiote passed away at age 30 after collapsing during a training session with Chinese side Beijing Enterprises, causing shock and grief around the Premier League.

His former teammates were remembering him on Friday, the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations winner was definitely beloved and will always be remembered for his incredible goal to cap off Newcastle’s 4-4 comeback draw with Arsenal.

We’ll start with Norwich City backstop Tim Krul, who spent time with Tiote at Newcastle.

Former Magpies wizard Yohan Cabaye pinned an old memorial to his Twitter wall.

 

Preview: Borussia Dortmund v. Hertha Berlin

Borussia Dortmund v. Hertha preview, how to watch
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Four Bundesliga teams are unbeaten in their last five matches and Hertha Berlin is the unlikeliest of the bunch.

They’ll tangle with Borussia Dortmund at the Westfalenstadion on Saturday in the latest challenge of the Bruno Labaddia era in Berlin.

[ BUNDESLIGA: Week 30 preview and predictions ]

Labbadia is Hertha’s third manager of the season and Hertha has played a scrappy brand of football that has punched and counter-punched under his tutelage. That doesn’t mean they’ve failed to find finish, as Liverpool loanee Marko Grujic and Brazilian youngster Matheus Cunha have been potent.

Borussia Dortmund is a bigger ask, though Hertha made RB Leipzig make mistakes in a 2-2 tie.

[ LIVE: Bundesliga scores, stats ]

Will it be able to get a result at the Westfalenstadion? Perhaps this is a bridge too far, because Dortmund’s shown an explosive offense and its defense has been strong far more often than not this season.

That said, Erling Haaland is just returning to fitness and has just one goal since the league’s restart from the coronavirus pause. Mats Hummels will miss with a yellow card suspension and Marco Reus still isn’t back.

Maybe American teen Giovanni Reyna will get prolonged run along with Jadon Sancho. We’ll see!

Borussia Dortmund v. Hertha Berlin, how to watch

  • TV Channels: FS2
  • Stream LiveVia Fox Soccer
  • Americans Abroad: Giovanni Reyna (Dortmund)
  • When: Saturday, June 6 – 12:30 p.m. ET: Dortmund v. Hertha

Sheffield United season restart preview

Sheffield United season restart preview
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With the 2019-20 Premier League season soon to restart, let’s focus on all 20 clubs and see where they stand ahead of the final nine matches of the season.

Sheffield United is next.

[ MORE: Remaining PL schedule in full ]

Let’s take a closer look at all things Blades when it comes to the season restart.


Outlook: Sheffield United has welcomed itself to the Premier League and put its feet up on the big boys’ tables while asking what’s for dinner. Blades sit seventh and will hope to continue a fairytale which has them on the precipice of the Europa League. Their fixture list in monstrous, especially at Bramall Lane, but Wilder’s proven capable of outwitting even the smartest of bosses for long periods of time. A name to remember is Simon Moore. The backup keeper and starter from Blades’ League One days could become vital should Manchester United defy expectation and pull Dean Henderson home from his loan upon its June 30 expiry.

[ MORE: Ranking every Southampton player in 2019-20 ]


Tactical analysis: Chris Wilder has flummoxed many a Premier League manager with his creative use of defenders in attack. United typically uses Jack O’Connell, John Egan and Chris Basham as a back-3 with Enda Stevens and George Baldock as the two wingbacks. Those players have accounted for six of United’s 18 PL assists this season. For more on the tactics, Wilder laid things out in entertaining fashion for Arlo White late last month.


Possible XI (3-5-2) 

—– Henderson* —–

— Basham — O’Connell — Egan —

— Baldock — Fleck —  Berge —– Norwood — Stevens—

—– McBurnie —– Mousset —–

The challenge here is fitting January signing Berge into the mix, as fellow central midfielders John Fleck, Oliver Norwood, and John Lundstram have been instrumental in this amazing season. Lundstram seems the most likely to cede his spot if someone will, which really says something about Berge’s immense talent. David McGoldrick and Billy Sharp have provided a lot up top, so McBurnie and Mousset will see plenty of time on the bench. And the biggest question of all is Henderson, who’s on loan from top seven rival Manchester United.

[ MORE: The 2 Robbies assess Sheffield United’s chances ]


[ STREAM: Every PL match live ]

Remaining schedule
Home: Spurs, Wolves, Chelsea, Everton
Away: Newcastle, Manchester United, Burnley, Leicester City, Southampton

Predicted finish: The Blades will get the chance to defend their home turf from not one, not two, not three, but four would-be European rivals (It’s a little generous to include Everton, but the talent is there). Throw in Leicester and Manchesteer United away, and there is a huge bridge to cross for Wilder’s men to keep their incredible season on the path toward unprecedented heights. It’s not just about keeping Spurs and Arsenal in the rear view mirror, as Blades meet the next four teams above their seventh-place footing.

Petersen’s header leads Freiburg past 10-man Gladbach

Freiburg v. Borussia Monchengladbach recap
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Nils Petersen’s second half goal led Freiburg to a huge 1-0 win over 10-man Borussia Monchengladbach at the Schwarzwald-Stadion on Friday.

Freiburg keeps its Europa League hopes alive by moving onto 41 points, one behind sixth and seventh.

Gladbach fails in a bid to go third and remains fourth with 56 points, ahead of Bayer Leverkusen on goal differential.

A second yellow card to Plea was a double curse to Gladbach, who went down a man and now will miss a star forward against Bayern Munich.

[ LIVE: Bundesliga scores, stats ]

Bayer’s Ramy Bensebaini utilized a slick backheel turn to nutmeg an opponent and send in a cross that was put out for a corner kick.

Freiburg keeper Alexander Schwolow made a tight-angle save on Alassane Plea just after the quarter-hour mark.

Gladbach saw a chance chalked off after two dangerous bids resulted in an offside deflection into the goal.

Florian Neuhaus came close to scoring again when Lars Stindl headed the penultimate move of a fine team play into the six, but he popped it over the frame.

[ BUNDESLIGA: Week 30 preview and predictions ]

Gladbach’s second half again settled into the Freiburg final third, but it was a home sub that paid dividends at the other end.

Petersen improved his club record for goals when he nodded Vincenzo Grifo’s free kick home in the 59th.

Stindl wasn’t too far from equalizing with a 17-yard shot at the hour mark, but Plea’s second yellow card damaged Gladbach’s hopes of a comeback.