Chelsea launch formal complaint with Malaysian FA
Chelsea Football Club have lodged a formal complaint with the Malaysian FA with regards to the treatment of Yossi Benayoun during the club’s pre-season friendly against a Malaysia XI in Kuala Lumpur on 21 July. The following statement has been issued:
“Chelsea Football Club can confirm that we have lodged a formal complaint with the Malaysian FA with regards to the treatment of Yossi Benayoun during last Thursday’s game against the Malaysian XI.
“Notwithstanding most fans behaving appropriately on the night, we believe Yossi was subjected to anti-Semitic abuse by a number of supporters at the game.
“Such behaviour is offensive, totally unacceptable and has no place in football.
“The club did not make repesentations at the time as it was initially unclear as to the nature of the abuse Yossi received, as several players from both teams experienced similar treatment, sometimes louder and longer. However, having taken time to consider the issue fully, it has become apparent that a formal complaint was necessary.
“Our stay in Malaysia was, on the whole, a very positive experience for all the team travelling on the pre-season tour. It is a shame, therefore, that the behaviour of a minority of supporters is also a memory we take away.”
Kick It Out has backed the club’s stance: “Kick It Out supports the action taken by Chelsea FC on this matter. After working with the club on the recent Y-Word film, aimed squarely at challenging anti-semitism and anti Jewish abuse, and featured Frank Lampard, it’s a strand of discrimination which is front of mind for both organisations.
“In addition, the campaign is keen to engage with Malaysian authorities around the issue and how football can play its part in educating mass audiences to become better versed on issues around faith and religion.”
From Chelsea FC