Chelsea face potential stadium closure as Uefa open proceedings

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#After an investigation, Uefa have decided to discipline the Stamford Bridge club

Uefa have opened disciplinary proceedings against Chelsea over allegations of racist chanting at their Europa League match against Vidi in Budapest in December, with the club facing the prospect of having at least part of Stamford Bridge closed for an upcoming European fixture.

European football’s governing body announced the news on Tuesday morning, based on “the report submitted by the Uefa Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector commissioned to conduct an investigation”.

Chelsea’s travelling support were heard chanting antisemitic abuse just three minutes into the match in Hungary, with the club releasing a statement immediately afterward condemning the small section of “brainless” fans who were shaming the club.

The club’s supporters then came under further scrutiny when a photograph emerged of a group of fans outside the stadium before the game began holding a flag bearing Nazi insignia. Chelsea insisted the flag did not come into the stadium.

The flag incident came just six days after four Chelsea supporters were suspended indefinitely by the club pending further investigation internally, as well as by the Metropolitan Police, after being caught on camera allegedly racially abusing Raheem Sterling.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck condemned the actions of “a few mindless individuals at some of our recent matches” and added the club “will not rest until we have eliminated all forms of discrimination from our club”.

Uefa’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body will decide on the Stamford Bridge club’s punishment at ts next meeting on 28 February, but Chelsea could face a stadium closure according to Uefa rules.

The Article 14 regulation also makes clear that if found guilty the club will face “a minimum partial stadium closure” at Stamford Bridge in future European games.

“If a club’s supporters engage in the behaviour that insults the human dignity of a person or group of persons on whatever grounds, including skin colour, race, religion or ethnic origin, the member association or club responsible is punished with a minimum of a partial stadium closure.” independent.co.uk

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