Following the events at today’s Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea game, we are disgusted and dismayed that once again, a Premier League fixture has been tainted by abuse from the stands towards players.
Racism has no place in football or society. It is deeply disappointing that some fans continue to display vulgar racist gestures and chants from the stands.
It has become clear that football players are on the receiving end of the blatant racism that is currently rife in the UK, but they are not alone. The PFA stands beside every player who faces any discrimination. We will continue to fight on their behalf to combat this issue for good.
Football is part of the fabric of British society. With the huge global audience that English football attracts, we have a responsibility to lead the way with a zero-tolerance policy. Racist abuse in football is not just an issue for black and ethnic minority players, it is an issue for everyone who loves the game. Whilst the protocols in place ensured stadium announcements were executed today, we need to ensure the perpetrators are identified and dealt with according to the law.
We believe that the time has come for all governing bodies to unite collectively to end this abuse. The PFA calls for a government enquiry into racism and the rise in hate crime within football and immediate and urgent action from an All Party Group at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to address this urgent issue.
All football stakeholders must work in partnership with police and clubs to drive this issue and accelerate solutions.
As always, the PFA extends our full support to Antonio Rüdiger and any player who has suffered racist abuse. We will not allow this to continue. Now more than ever we must unite and stand strong and together to confront, challenge and eradicate racist abuse in our stadiums and in our country.