football

Investigation finds ‘no evidence’ of alleged racism against Chelsea’s Rüdiger


Tottenham have confirmed the Metropolitan police have ended their investigation into the alleged racial abuse of the Chelsea defender Antonio Rüdiger during the Premier League match last month, having found “no evidence to support the allegation”.

Spurs had vowed to take the “strongest possible action” against anyone found to have abused Rüdiger, who appeared to indicate he had been targeted with a monkey chant during Chelsea’s 2-1 victory on 22 December.

Anthony Taylor, the referee, stopped play after being alerted to the alleged abuse of the Germany international and an announcement on the public address system informed the crowd that “racist behaviour from spectators is interfering with the game”. The announcement was made on two further occasions in line with Premier League protocols.

However, a statement from Tottenham on Monday confirmed that they and the Metropolitan police have ended their investigations having reviewed all available footage. “The club and the Metropolitan police have now exhausted all avenues of investigation following the reported incident at our home fixture against Chelsea on 22 December,” read the statement.

“We carried out extensive reviews of CCTV images and footage, working with professional lip readers. All materials and reports have now also been reviewed by the police who have carried out their own investigation.

“The police have notified us today that, having reviewed and investigated, they have closed the crime report as they can find no evidence to support the allegation of racial abuse. We fully support Antonio Rüdiger with the action that he took. However, there is no evidence to corroborate or contradict the allegation and as such neither ourselves nor the police are in a position to take any further action.

“We are fiercely proud of our anti-racism work and our zero tolerance of any form of discrimination. This is one reason why we have attributed so much time and resource to investigating this matter. Had we identified anyone guilty of this we were intent on issuing them with a lifetime ban from our stadium as they would have no place among our proud, diverse fan base. If any new information comes to light, this will be fully investigated.”

A Chelsea statement read: “We support Toni Rüdiger totally and unequivocally on this matter, and as Tottenham’s statement makes clear, a lack of evidence does not mean an incident did not take place.

“In responding to this incident, we must be very careful about the climate we create for players who experience and report racist behaviour. It is vitally important that we continue to encourage all players to report racist abuse without fear of doubt or reprisal.”



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