• Chelsea Headhunters seen with SS death’s head on flag• Club confident it was not taken into Europa League gameThe conduct of elements of Chelsea’s

Chelsea fans took flag with Nazi symbol to Budapest for Vidi game

Chelsea fans took flag with Nazi symbol to Budapest for Vidi game

Chelsea fans took flag with Nazi symbol to Budapest for Vidi game

Chelsea fans took flag with Nazi symbol to Budapest for Vidi game

Chelsea fans took flag with Nazi symbol to Budapest for Vidi game
Chelsea fans took flag with Nazi symbol to Budapest for Vidi game
  • 2018-12-25 09:50:09 2 years ago
  • Views 3,608

The conduct of elements of Chelsea’s support has come under further scrutiny after images posted on social media showed travelling fans in Budapest last week holding a Chelsea Headhunters flag featuring a Nazi symbol.

The photographs reveal a group holding a banner, on which is displayed SS death’s head insignia, outside a bar before Thursday’s Europa League tie against Vidi. The club would go on to condemn a small section of their support at the Groupama Arena that night for antisemitic chanting.

Uefa’s disciplinary body is still reviewing reports from the match officials before deciding whether to charge the Premier League side. A decision is expected early this coming week and, if the fans are found guilty, Chelsea will face the partial closure of Stamford Bridge at a future European tie.

The incidents in Budapest came only four days after Raheem Sterling was allegedly racially abused during Chelsea’s win over Manchester City, with four supporters subsequently suspended by the club pending further investigations. The Metropolitan police, who have identified the individuals concerned, are still scrutinising footage to determine what was said.

The club are aware of the images posted on Twitter, which reference the Chelsea Headhunters, a notorious hooligan firm whose roots date from the late 1960s, with the slogans concerned having long since been banned from Stamford Bridge. The club knew a group of around 40 supporters had travelled independently to Hungary without tickets, apparently with no intention of attending the fixture, and, with their stewards having monitored who entered the away end, the club are confident the banner did not make it into the stadium.

Chelsea have details for all those fans who bought tickets via their European away ticket scheme and it seems likely the group concerned remained in the city centre, out of the club’s jurisdiction, during the game. Anyone who had attempted to smuggle the banner into the arena would have risked incurring a ban from Chelsea.

The banner, a modified flag of Northern Ireland that also mentioned Rangers and bore the Loyalist slogan “No surrender”, featured the SS-Totenkopf skull commonly used by neo-Nazis as a reference to the Third Reich’s units who ran extermination camps throughout Europe and the 3rd SS Panzer division.

The top left segment of the flag contained the message: “You have been nominated and dealt with by the Chelsea Headhunters”. The hooligan firm was notorious through the 1970s and 1980s, when violence in and around football matches was arguably at its height, and had links to groups such as the neo-Nazi Combat 18 and the far-right National Front, as well as to Northern Irish loyalist paramilitary organisations.

In more recent times hooligans claiming to represent the group were involved in violent clashes with Paris Saint-Germain ultras before a Champions League quarter-final between the clubs in 2014.

Chelsea, whose owner, Roman Abramovich, is Jewish, launched a campaign in January to educate about antisemitism in football as they seek to change behaviour and attitudes. They, like Uefa, are attempting to identify those from their 1,273-strong away support who may have sung the chant in Hungary with a view to imposing bans but will also offer anyone found guilty the chance to enter an educational programme.

The club statement issued on Thursday night reflected their sense of exasperation at events in midweek and attacked the “brainpower” of the offenders who had “shamed the club”. However, it is unclear whether CCTV coverage at the stadium was good enough to pinpoint individuals who may have taken part in the offensive chant.

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Chelsea fans took flag with Nazi symbol to Budapest for Vidi game


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