Chelsea face potential stadium closure due to alleged racist chanting
UEFA have opened disciplinary hearings against the club
Chelsea face the prospect of having to close at least one section of Stamford Bridge for an upcoming European fixture after UEFA opened disciplinary hearings against the club.
This comes after allegations of racist chanting at their Europa League match against Vidi in Budapest. Uefa announced the news on Tuesday morning based on "the report submitted by the Uefa Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector commissioned to conduct an investigation".
Chelsea released a statement immediately after the allegations of anti-semitic abuse were made, condemning the accused as 'brainless'.
The club's travelling fans then didn't help their case when it emerged that a group of fans outside the stadium before the game were holding a flag bearing Nazi insignia. Chelsea insisted the flag didn't make it into the stadium.
And before that, four Chelsea supporters were suspended indefinitely by the club pending further investigation internally, as well as by the Metropolitan Police, after they were caught on camera allegedly racially abusing Manchester City player and England international Raheem Sterling.
Uefa's Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body will decide on Chelsea's punishment at their next meeting on 28th of February. It's possible that Chelsea will face a stadium closure according to Uefa rules.
If found guilty, the club will face “a minimum partial stadium closure” at Stamford Bridge in future European games.
Uefa's Article 14 regulation states that: “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.”