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Chelsea issues anti-Semitism warning to fans ahead of League Cup final

After a pretty disastrous PR week, Chelsea is going on the anti-racism offensive ahead of Sunday's Cup Final match with Tottenham.

Lars Baron/Getty Images

Racism has been in the EPL football news a lot lately, and especially with regards to Chelsea Football Club. Ahead of Sunday's Capital One Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea has put itself on the front foot with regards to fan behavior, issuing a warning to its supporters that anti-Semitic chants in the stands will not be tolerated.

Chelsea issued a statement on their website that read in part:

After consultation between the Metropolitan Police and both clubs, we would like to remind supporters of their responsibilities [during the cup final].

For a small minority, this game has historically brought a deeply unpleasant and unwanted level of anti-Semitic abuse, which has no place in football or anywhere in society. As such, we urge everyone to keep their support positive.

Opposition supporters using terms as a form of identity is no excuse for abusive chanting or behaviour. The club asks that all supporters realise such actions cause huge offence to those around them.

If we receive evidence that supporters have engaged in anti-Semitic or any other form of discriminatory chanting or behaviour, we will take the strongest possible action, including supporting criminal prosecution.

Note the specific language here: We know the Spurs fans are going to say 'Yid.' That doesn't mean you can. While the issue of Tottenham fans' appropriation of what is a pretty offensive term in and of itself is an entirely different (and important) issue, it is nice to see Chelsea come out so strongly against abuse.

Considering the recent incident on the Paris Metro by Chelsea supporters in their recent game against PSG, as well as the allegations of racist chanting from both West Ham and Spurs supporters in recent days, this is a smart move from Chelsea. The recent actions by a small subset of its fans has tarnished the image of the club, and while this may not do much to stop the actions of determined idiots in the stands, it does put them on notice.

Hopefully this works. Racism is stupid.