Probe finds no evidence for or against Rudiger's racism claim

LONDON • Tottenham confirmed on Monday night that an investigation launched by both the Premier League club and British police found no evidence of racial abuse aimed at Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger.

The German complained that he was subjected to monkey chants during the Blues' 2-0 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Dec 22.

The game was temporarily halted and announcements made over the public address system to warn fans that "racist behaviour among spectators is interfering with the game".

Spurs responded swiftly, launching a full investigation alongside the police. The probe has now been closed.

The club said in a statement: "We carried out extensive reviews of closed-circuit TV 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 Rudiger 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."

Spurs added that any fan found to have been guilty would have been handed a lifetime ban.

Chelsea reiterated their support for Rudiger and stressed the importance of players not being afraid to report racism.

Said a club spokesman: "We support Toni Rudiger 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, whatever shirt they wear, to report racist abuse without fear of doubt or reprisal."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 08, 2020, with the headline 'Probe finds no evidence for or against Rudiger's racism claim'. Print Edition | Subscribe