Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger wants decisive action taken against those found guilty of racial abuse at football games.
Referee Anthony Taylor stopped the game after being made aware of the abuse and three announcements were made in the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium reminding fans there is “no place for racism in the game”.
Spurs have since launched an investigation that could end in a stadium ban for any identified culprits, and Rudiger took to Twitter late on Sunday urging for the fight against discrimination not to be “forgotten again in a couple of days”.
“It is really sad to see racism again at a football match, but I think it’s very important to talk about it in public. If not, it will be forgotten again in a couple of days (as always),” he said.
“I don’t want to involve Tottenham as an entire club into this situation as I know that just a couple of idiots were the offenders. I got a lot of supportive messages on social media from Spurs fans as well in the last hours – thank you a lot for this.
“I really hope that the offenders will be found and punished soon, and in such a modern football ground like the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with dozens of TV and security cameras, it must be possible to find and subsequently punish them.
“If not, then there must have been witnesses in the stadium who saw and heard the incident. It’s just such a shame that racism still exists in 2019. When will this nonsense stop?”
The Professional Footballers’ Association called for a government inquiry into racism within football in the wake of the latest incident, while Frank Lampard insisted he would be “100 per cent behind” his Chelsea players if they wanted to walk off the pitch amid any future racism storm.
Lampard said: “In terms of walking off the pitch, it would depend what the players were feeling and saying. But I would be absolutely, 100 per cent behind them and I’m sure it would be a group decision. But we’re not there yet, so it’s hypothetical to a degree.
“Of course I’ll support Toni as we would support any of our players, or in fact any opposition players. Wherever this happens it needs to be dealt with.
“If it happened and it’s fact, then punishment is needed and it needs to be strong.”
A Tottenham statement read: “We are now conducting a thorough investigation which will include liaising with Chelsea and their players for their observations.
“Any form of racism is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our stadium. We take any such allegations extremely seriously and shall take the strongest possible action against any individual found to be behaving in such a way, including stadium bans.”
Chelsea backed Tottenham’s response in launching their investigation, with a Stamford Bridge club spokesman saying: “We welcome Tottenham’s statement and trust they will fully investigate the matter and take appropriate action.”