- 1. ‘Nothing got done about it… the police didn’t do nothing or the FA’: Andre Gray, boyfriend of Little Mix star Leigh-Anne Pinnock, hits out at the authorities after Watford’s players were subjected to vile racist abuse following their FA Cup semi-final win
- 2. The shocking scale of football racism: One player reveals he was forced to see a counsellor, while another claims a referee told him HE was to blame for being called a ‘black c***’… and a female star was even subjected to monkey noises from an OPPONENT
Shocking new footage has emerged of Chelsea fans performing Nazi salutes, singing anti-Semitic songs and mimicking the noise of a gas chamber.
The explosive revelations feature in new BBC Three film Shame In The Game, which examines the devastating impact of football racism in the UK after a year which saw hate crimes at professional games soar by 66 per cent in England and Wales.
The documentary also lifts the lid on former Premier League striker Marvin Sordell’s decision to quit the game at the age of 28 because of the racist abuse he received, and how one non-League player was forced to seek counselling.
Chelsea fans have been caught on camera appearing to make Nazi salutes in Lille, France, before a Champions League game on October 2 last year
BBC THREE’S SHAME IN THE GAME
BBC Three’s new film Shame In The Game highlights a number of shocking incidents of racism in football during 2019, including:
– Chelsea fans being secretly filmed making Nazi salutes while singing anti-Semitic songs before a game in Lille.
– Watford striker Andre Gray hitting out at the FA and the police after his team-mates were abused online following their FA Cup semi-final victory.
– A non-League goalkeeper revealing that he has seen a counsellor in order to deal with years of vile racist abuse.
BBC Three’s Shame In The Game will air on BBC iPlayer from 6am on Wednesday 12 February.
Three of the most sickening incidents featured took place in France on October 2 last year, the day Frank Lampard’s side beat Lille 2-1 in the Champions League.
Although the behaviour of Chelsea supporters was not made public at the time, an undercover reporter captured the shameful scenes as fans took over the French city.
In one clip, Blues supporters can be seen outside singing an anti-Semitic song about their London rivals, Tottenham.
A group of supporters are heard chanting: ‘We hate Tottenham – Yids! We hate Tottenham – Yids!’, with two individuals appearing to make Nazi salutes.
In another clip, a fan can be seen leading a song about former Spurs striker Martin Chivers while riding a train.
The lyrics are: ‘Chivers was a Jew. The thing between his eyes was twice the normal size. Yiddo, Yiddo, Yiddo.’
In another clip, one Chelsea fan sings about former Spurs striker Martin Chivers being a Jew
In a separate incident filmed on a train in Lille on the same day, fans can be heard hissing to imitate the noise of a gas chamber.
The appalling episodes were filmed during research for Shame In The Game, which explores how racism is continuing to blight football at all levels.
Chelsea and Kick It Out were contacted by Sportsmail for comment regarding the footage.
Undercover filming also showed Chelsea fans imitating a gas chamber during a train journey
This is not the first time Chelsea fans have been accused of racist abuse.
It was claimed that a group of supporters were involved in anti-Semitic chanting during a 2-2 Europa League draw away at Hungarian side Vidi in December, 2018.
UEFA charged the club with racist behaviour after a small section of fans were allegedly heard singing a song which referred to Spurs disparagingly as ‘Yids’.
Chelsea condemned their own supporters’ ‘abhorrent’ behaviour and urged them to ‘summon brainpower’ in a strongly-worded statement after the game.
It was alleged that Chelsea fans sung anti-Semitic songs during an away game against Vidi in December, 2018. UEFA charged the club but later dropped all disciplinary proceedings
The club had run the risk of having to play a European game at Stamford Bridge behind closed doors, but UEFA dropped all disciplinary proceedings against them in February of last year.
In January 2018, Chelsea launched their Say No To Anti-Semitism campaign, which has been backed from the outset by owner Roman Abramovich, who is Jewish.
The club state they are working on ‘raising awareness of anti-Semitism and its impact on the Jewish community and society as a whole’.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has backed the club’s Say No To Anti-Semitism campaign
On their official website, Chelsea say that: ‘Everybody at Chelsea is proud to be part of a diverse club.
‘Our players, staff, fans and visitors to the club come from a wide range of backgrounds, including the Jewish community, and we want to ensure everyone feels safe, valued and included.’
Less than a fortnight ago the club unveiled a commemorative mural at Stamford Bridge of Jewish footballers and British prisoners of war who were sent to Nazi camps, to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day 2020.
HOW CHELSEA ARE TRYING TO EDUCATE FANS ON ANTI-SEMITISM
Chelsea have made a serious attempt to fight anti-Semitism in football with their award-winning Say No To Anti-Semitism campaign.
Backed by owner Abramovich, the initiative aims to educate the club’s players, staff, fans and the wider community about the issue.
The campaign won Community Project of the Year at the London Football Awards in 2019, while the Chelsea Foundation was recognised for its efforts with the Business Upstander Award at the #No2H8 Crime Awards in November last year.
Chelsea also became the first sports club in the world to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism just last month.
On January 27, the club unveiled a commemorative mural on the side of Stamford Bridge to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Abramovich funded the project, which was completed by renowned Israeli British street artist Solomon Souza.
The artwork is of Jewish footballers and British prisoners of war who were sent to Nazi camps during World War II.
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said: ‘Millions of people were murdered during the Holocaust. As the living memory of the Second World War fades, the more important it becomes to remember the horrors that took place to ensure they are never allowed to happen again.
‘This year is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Our club, and our club owner Roman Abramovich, believe it is crucially important to honour this anniversary.
‘By sharing the images of these three individual football players on our stadium, we hope to inspire future generations to always fight against antisemitism, discrimination and racism, wherever they find it.’
Chelsea unveiled a commemorative mural of Jewish football players and British POWs on the side of Stamford Bridge to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27
Accusations of racist behaviour among Chelsea fans, however, have been prevalent in recent years.
In July 2019, the Premier League side banned a fan for life after concluding that he had racially abused Manchester City star Raheem Sterling during a game at Stamford Bridge seven months earlier.
They also excluded another five supporters for between one and two years over ‘abusive language and threatening and aggressive behaviour’ during the same match.
Chelsea banned one supporter for life and temporarily banned five others following abuse of Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling during a Premier League match in December, 2018 – the club did not state which fan received the lifetime ban
In February 2015, Chelsea fans were filmed pushing a black man off a train in Paris as they made their way to a Champions League clash against PSG.
Joshua Parsons, 22, and James Fairbairn, 25, denied their actions were racist in nature. Richard Barklie, 52, and William Simpson, 27, were absent from the hearing.
Supporters were heard chanting ‘we are racist, we are racist and that’s the way we like it’ in a video shown during the hearing.
The four men, who had been accused of aggravated violence against Souleymane Sylla, were handed suspended one-year sentences by a French court.
Chelsea fans were filmed pushing a black commuter from a Paris Metro carriage ahead of their team’s Champions League match with Paris Saint-Germain in February, 2015
Shame In The Game takes an in-depth look at incidents throughout the divisions – from the Premier League, to non-League and women’s football – to illustrate the scale of the problem.
Sordell, who played in the Premier League, for England at Under-21 level and for Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics, retired from the sport at the age of 28, in part due to the racist abuse he suffered throughout his career.
Speaking in the new film, Sordell said: ‘People say players shouldn’t walk off the pitch – to me that is just standing there and accepting it.
‘The only person that is going to protect you and fully look after you is yourself, really.
‘The abuse these players get, people just expect them to act like robots and pretend that nothing is wrong and everything is fine.
Former Premier League player Marvin Sordell speaks about his decision to retire from football at the age of 28 in new BBC Three film Shame In The Game
‘For me, one of the biggest contributing factors to me retiring at 28 was due to the amount of racism that exists in the game.’
Sordell also suggested that wider issues in society have made fans more comfortable with airing racist views from the stands.
‘I think when you have people in senior positions that are leading the country, who openly have racist views, it makes it a lot easier for people to be open with their racist views,’ he added.
‘We’re all in this together as players. Just there to earn a living, live their dream, be successful.
‘The footballing authorities – FIFA, the FA, UEFA – they just need to do better for players really.’
BBC Three’s Shame In The Game will air on BBC iPlayer from 6am on Wednesday 12 February.
BBC Three’s new film Shame In The Game examines the devastating impact of football racism
Watford striker Andre Gray has accused both the FA and the police of doing ‘nothing’ after he and his team-mates were hit with a barrage of racist abuse after last season’s FA Cup semi-final win over Wolves.
Hornets striker Troy Deeney was forced to disable comments on his Instagram account and revealed that he and his family were targeted by sick online trolls in the wake of the 3-2 victory at Wembley.
Andre Gray has opened up on the racist abuse suffered by him and his Watford team-mates
Hornets stars were abused online after their FA Cup semi-final win over Wolves last season
His team-mates, Adrian Mariappa and Christian Kabasele, also claimed that they received racist messages following the five-goal thriller.
And now Gray, who is dating Little Mix pop star Leigh-Anne Pinnock, has hit out the authorities for failing to track down and punish those responsible.
Speaking to new BBC Three film, Shame In The Game, the 28-year-old said: ‘All you’re doing is living your dream and qualifying for the final of the FA Cup.
‘People want to get bitter and think of ways to offend you and get in your head, and for some reason or not, that’s the way they wanted to go about it.
‘You’re getting called everything under the sun. Just things that you don’t expect to see.
‘Nothing got done about it, the police didn’t do nothing or the FA. People higher up didn’t pay any attention to it. It’s not the best place to be in.’
Gray, who is dating Little Mix pop star Leigh-Anne Pinnock, says rivals fans can become ‘bitter’
Striker Troy Deeney posted a statement on Instagram revealing he had been racially abused
In a statement on April 10, three days after the semi-final, Hertfordshire police said that they had been in touch with Watford regarding the alleged abuse of their players.
‘At this time, Hertfordshire Constabulary has not received any reports relating to alleged racist comments made on social media following the Watford v Wolverhampton Wanderers game at Wembley on Sunday, April 7,’ they said in a statement.
‘However local officers have already made contact with Watford FC to ensure that if and when any reports are received, the victims are fully supported and a full investigation is carried out.’
Gray’s Watford team-mate, Tom Cleverley, also revealed his disgust at the racist abuse still being suffered by many Premier League players.
Watford midfielder Tom Cleverley insists the Premier League benefits from being multicultural
‘For us to win a massive game and be racially abused off the Wolves fans, took a bit of the edge off the victory,’ he told Shame In The Game.
‘I think that was a big eye-opener for everyone, of how direct and personal the abuse got.
‘We’ve got probably the most multicultural squad in the league and we took a stance together, which was the main thing.
‘Football matches and football stadiums are probably the most passionate environment. They may be aggressive at times, but racism can’t be your go-to way to let-off some steam. It’s unacceptable.
‘How many skin colours, nationalities, are absolute megastars in this league? To think they still get racially abused… without these players the Premier League would be half the league it is.’
Watford’s Adrian Mariappa also posted an example of the racist abuse he received last year
The shocking scale of football racism: One player reveals he was forced to see a counsellor, while another claims a referee told him HE was to blame for being called a ‘black c***’… and a female star was even subjected to monkey noises from an OPPONENT
A non-League player has revealed that he was forced to turn to a counsellor for help after suffering years of vile racist abuse from supporters.
That is one of several shocking revelations in new BBC Three film Shame In The Game, which includes claims from one player that a referee blamed him for sparking a torrent of monkey noises from fans, and an in-depth look at how being racially abused by an opponent affected female star Renee Hector.
Nathan Ashmore, who is currently on loan at Conference Premier side Boreham Wood, spoke about his harrowing experiences on the pitch and admitted he had been left seeking professional help.
The 29-year-old has played outside of the Football League for over a decade for the likes of Havant and Waterlooville, Gosport and Ebbsfleet United.
Non-League goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore had to see a counsellor after years of racist abuse
However, Ashmore says that he has suffered racist abuse ‘most weekends’, and was once called a ‘monkey’ by a fan when he reached to touch his crossbar before kick-off.
‘You try and not let it get to you but deep down it will, especially after the game,’ he told Shame In The Game. ‘It will get to you after the game. It’s very, very hard.
‘I’m 29 now and I’ve pretty much had it most weekends.
‘I had one at a game where, just before the game started, I touched my bar and he just laughed at me and said “ha, look at you, you monkey”.
‘Imagine thinking, “make sure you start right, make sure you’re kicking is right, make sure you’re switched on”, and then that gets said to me before the game has even started.
‘They’re an animal. I’m not an animal.’
Ashmore also opened up on how the abuse affected his mood and outlook on life, which eventually resulted in him going to see a counsellor.
‘I was in a dark place,’ he added. ‘I was very, very, very, very low. I became distant, I didn’t really want to see anyone, didn’t want to talk to anyone.
‘It got to the point where I got so low that I said to myself, “I need to get out of this, this is not me”, so I started seeing a counsellor.
‘This is the first time I’ve said it, only one person knows and that’s the actual counsellor herself. It was hard. Very, very hard.’
The documentary also focuses on Inih Effiong, who was subjected to disgusting racist abuse during a game against Hartlepool last year.
Dover striker Inih Effiong opens up about being racially abused by Hartlepool fans last year
The Dover striker scored a penalty and celebrated in front of the home fans by cupping his ear to them, which led to an appalling reaction from some fans at Victoria Park.
‘They were just calling me a black c***, black monkey,’ he said. ‘They were doing the monkey signs towards me as well, as I’m looking at them.
‘After that happened, as soon as I got the ball, about three-and-a-half thousand fans were just booing me every single second.
‘The first time it happened, it went straight through me. Just tingles down my spine. I think I lost the ball, gave a goal kick. I ended up giving it away when I could’ve held it in the corner.
Effiong scored from the spot in a non-League game before cupping his ear in celebration
‘I feel like I’m getting booed because I’m black now. I just got racially abused on the side and because we reacted to it, now I’m getting booed.’
Effiong also claims that the referee, Joseph Johnson, accused him of causing the backlash with his celebration.
He added: ‘The ref was saying that I sparked it all off. That if I didn’t do that celebration then none of this would be happening, which, as a ref, you shouldn’t really be saying because that just says that because I done a celebration towards them, I should now receive racial abuse.
‘I felt like I was in a different country. I wasn’t even in England. It was a crazy thing to feel.’
In the aftermath of the incident, Johnson said that the racism directed at Effiong was totally unacceptable, but that he may not have been abused had he not celebrated in front of the home fans.
Effiong was booed for the remainder of the game following the controversial incident
The FA fined Hartlepool £7,500 for the racist abuse of Effiong, with £5,000 suspended for 18 months. The club also banned two of their fans.
In another shocking incident featured in the new film, former Tottenham Women defender Hector speaks about the moment she was subjected to monkey noises by an opponent on the pitch – and how the incident left her not wanting to leave her house.
‘Spurs were fighting for promotion into the top tier and I was playing a pretty big role in that as I was playing every game at centre back,’ she told Shame In The Game.
‘We had a corner. As I jumped up, I heard ‘ooo, ooo, ooo’ in my ear. And I just couldn’t believe it, because obviously we’ve never heard of an incident like that on the pitch in women’s football.
Ex-Tottenham Women defender Renee Hector claims she was racially abused by an opponent
‘I think the moment where it really sank in was when I went into the changing room and I was telling my team-mates, “I can’t believe what just happened, the No 8 just made monkey noises in my ear as I went to head the ball”.
‘At that point, that’s when I started to feel anger and frustration, and I really couldn’t believe what had just happened. Yeah, I sort of got a bit animated and upset at half-time.’
An independent Football Association regulatory commission found that Hector was racially abused by Sheffield United’s Sophie Jones during a Championship match in January, 2019.
Jones received a five-game suspension and was fined £200 after denying allegations she made monkey noises towards Hector.
Her contract at Sheffield United was terminated by mutual consent in March of last year and she retired from the game soon after.
Sophie Jones (left) quit football after having her Sheffield United contract terminated
Hector added: ‘So I decided to put a tweet out and little did I know, it absolutely blew up and I still can’t believe the reaction that it got.
‘There was this one (shows phone) which was a gif of a monkey clapping. Then we’ve got this one (shows phone again), which was obviously a pregnant black woman and the doctor’s pointing at the screen and it’s a baby monkey.
‘Now with social media, that can generate around the world within a few minutes. It takes someone five or 10 seconds to write something behind a keyboard or to blurt something out, but for me, personally, that’s affected me for 10 months now and it’s still ongoing.
Hector shows off one of the disgusting replies she received on Twitter following the incident
‘Even up until now I’ve really been struggling, feeling a bit isolated.
‘My mum raised me as a single parent since I was about five years old so it’s always been me and her, but this time she really struggled as there was nothing really that she could do.
‘There were times I went home from training and I’d just be crying on the way home.
‘I didn’t really leave my house. There was a week when my mum managed to drag me out, just to go to Tesco.’