Antonio Ruediger: When will this racist nonsense stop?, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Antonio Ruediger: When will this racist nonsense stop?

The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) called for a government inquiry into racism in football, after Chelsea's 2-0 English Premier League win at Tottenham Hotspur yesterday morning (Singapore time) was marred by alleged racist comments from the crowd, the latest in a string of recent incidents.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said the problem needed "to be dealt with strongly" and Tottenham promised "a thorough investigation", after referee Anthony Taylor halted play during the second half when Antonio Ruediger complained of hearing monkey noises from spectators.

Moments earlier, the Chelsea defender had been involved in a second-half clash with Son Heung Min that saw the South Korean sent off.

Shortly after the stoppage, an announcement made over the public address system warned that "racist behaviour among spectators is interfering with the game" and Taylor spoke to both managers, Lampard and Jose Mourinho.

Two further announcements followed after play was resumed.

"It's just such a shame that racism still exists in 2019. When will this nonsense stop?" Ruediger tweeted.

The PFA said in a statement: "We are disgusted and dismayed that once again, a Premier League fixture has been tainted by abuse from the stands towards players.

"It has become clear that football players are on the receiving end of the blatant racism that is currently rife in the UK...

"The PFA calls for a government inquiry into racism and the rise in hate crime within football."

Two weeks ago, a man was identified and arrested for an alleged racist gesture caught on TV cameras during the Manchester Derby, while Italy's Serie A apologised last week after an anti-racism campaign featuring posters with images of monkeys was widely condemned.

Uefa chief Aleksander Ceferin accused British Prime Minister Boris Johnson of fuelling the problem.

Said Ceferin: "When a politician that calls women with burqas post boxes or mailboxes, then says publicly that he condemns you Uefa (for not tackling racism) - do you reply to that?

"Do you believe it's honest? Come on."

Former Manchester United player Gary Neville also accused top UK politicians.

"We've just had a general election in this country with... the leaders of both main parties accused constantly of fuelling racism and accepting racism in their parties," said Neville on Sky Sports.

"If it's accepted in the highest office in the country, we're not talking at a micro-level."

"Maybe we have to empower the players to walk off the pitch and stop the entertainment while it is happening."

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola agreed, saying in a press conference yesterday: "Of course. I support my players, I support the initiative." - AFP