Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has blasted “stupid people” for tarnishing the reputation of his team’s supporters after they were faced with new allegations of anti-Semitic chanting.
A small section of travelling supporters from the Blues were reportedly heard singing a racist song during their trip to Watford, where they emerged as 2-1 victors at Vicarage Road in a Boxing Day clash.
Earlier this month the club was forced to condemn the “abhorrent” acts of individuals following similar accusations of anti-Semitic sentiments during a Europa League trip to Hungarian outfit Vidi.
Sarri, who took the reins at Stamford Bridge in the summer, offered strong criticism of those responsible but also claimed that such behaviour was not indicative of the broader supporter base at Chelsea.
“I didn’t hear anything,” the Italian admitted to reporters, before adding: “But I think, first of all, I want to speak with my club. Second, I don’t want to generalise.
“For the 99 per cent of cases, our fans are very good, very wonderful. [But] then, in every community, I think there are some stupid [people].
“Altogether we have to fight against the stupid people, but not against the Chelsea fans.”
Chelsea have been dogged by accusations of racism for much of the season, with the Vidi incident coming five days after the Metropolitan Police launched investigations alongside the club into allegations that Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling was abused during a Premier League clash.
The England international had been playing for the champions as they fell to a 2-0 defeat to the Blues, with four fans subsequently suspended at Stamford Bridge.
The question of racism in football has been called into further light in recent weeks after a spate of incidents, with Tottenham having investigated their own supporters after a banana was thrown at Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a north London derby earlier this month.
Elsewhere in Europe, Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly came out in defiant response to racist chanting during his side’s 1-0 defeat to Inter in Serie A.
Next up for Chelsea is a short trip to Crystal Palace on Sunday for their final game of 2018, ahead of fixtures against Southampton and Nottingham Forest in the new year.