Three travelling Chelsea fans who were filmed singing a racist song about Mohamed Salah were denied entrance to the stadium for the Blues' Europa League quarter-final on Thursday night, with Merseyside Police now investigating the incident.
Chelsea and Liverpool both released strong statements condemning the video containing a racist chant that was uploaded to social media by fans on their way to the away clash with Slavia Prague.
As reported by various journalists stationed in Prague, it is understood that three of the six fans in the video were subsequently identified and prevented from entering the Sinobo Stadium in the Czech capital, with the remaining three failing to show up at the ground.
Update on the six Chelsea fans filmed making discriminatory chants against Mo Salah: three turned away from stadium by Chelsea security; the other three apparently failed to show. Further sanctions promised.— Dan Levene (@danlevene) April 11, 2019
Fast & decisive action showing how seriously Chelsea are taking this.
Published on their official website, Liverpool's statement on the matter reads: "The video circulating online, showing vile discriminatory chants being aimed at one of our players, is dangerous and disturbing.
"Already this season, we have seen repulsive discriminatory abuse inside stadiums in England, Europe and across the world; abuse that was captured on devices and put into the public domain. We have also witnessed numerous hateful attacks on social media.
"This behaviour needs to be called out for what it is - unadulterated bigotry.
Three of the six fans have been identified and turned away from watching Chelsea. https://t.co/yRDIRDvjg3— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) April 11, 2019
"There is no place for this behaviour in football, there is no place for it in society. A crime of this nature has more victims than any individual it is aimed at and, as such, collective and decisive action is needed to address it.
"As pertains to this latest incident, the club is working with Merseyside Police to ascertain the facts around this footage with the aim of identifying individuals featuring in it. In addition, we are working directly with Chelsea Football Club on the matter. We thank them for their condemnation and a commitment to act urgently to identify any individuals responsible."
The Blues too were quick to put out a statement of their own regarding discriminatory behaviour, which read: "Chelsea FC finds all forms of discriminatory behaviour abhorrent and where there is clear evidence of Chelsea season ticket holders or members involved in such behaviour, we will take the strongest possible action against the.
"Such individuals are an embarrassment to the vast majority of Chelsea supporters who won’t tolerate them in their club."
Football equality campaigners Kick It Out also released an early statement on Twitter, alongside an insert of the video in question, which read: "It’s not on the terraces, but it’s still a disgrace. We don’t want fans like that anywhere near our game."
As promised by Liverpool, Merseyside Police were quick to reveal their involvement, with a spokesperson revealing that 'a number of offensive tweets made in relation to a Liverpool footballer' are under investigation.
Part of their statement reads: "The language used in the Tweets is abhorrent and we are taking the reports extremely seriously.
"We will continue to work with Liverpool Football Club to ensure that those who use the Internet to target others, and who commit criminal offences such as harassment or hate crime in doing so, understand that they are not beyond the law."