Chelsea hit by new fans shame as ‘Nazi’ banner appears on Hungary trip during midweek Europa League action
Chelsea’s week of shame was compounded on Saturday evening when an image emerged that suggested travelling fans held up a flag that featured a Nazi symbol during their trip to Budapest.
Chelsea had already publicly condemned their supporters and urged the club’s fans to ‘summon brainpower’ after they sang an alleged anti-Semitic chant that disparagingly referred to Tottenham followers as ‘Yids’ this week.
Now an image has appeared on social media of fans holding up a Chelsea Headhunters flag that included the SS death’s head insignia outside a bar in Budapest.
Chelsea’s week of shame has been compounded with surfaced images of a ‘Nazi’ banner
The Chelsea Headhunters are a hooligan firm who were problematic for the club particularly in the 1970’s and 1980’s and had relations with far-right political groups in the UK.
The flag, an adapted version of the Northern Irish flag, also stated ‘No Surrender’ and included the SS Totenkopf skull, which has been used by modern far-right groups to represent the extermination camps ran by the Germans during the Nazi rule.
The Guardian reported that Chelsea were aware of a travelling band who went to Budapest without tickets and it is the club’s hope and belief that the banner would not have entered the stadium. As the club have an away fans ticket scheme, any supporter in possession of such a flag would risk punishment from the club.
The incident comes hot on the heels of recent abuse of Raheem Sterling at Stamford Bridge
It also comes hot on the heels of the vicious abuse directed towards Raheem Sterling at Stamford Bridge last week. Manchester City forward Sterling has told a police investigation he heard racially motivated comments and four fans have already been suspended by Chelsea.
UEFA, meanwhile, await official reports from the game in Budapest before deciding whether to charge Chelsea. In the worst case scenario, the club could face a partial stadium closure.
The Chelsea hierarchy will be particularly exasperated as the club has pursued a campaign against anti-semitism. Owner Roman Abramovich, who is Jewish, has put his face to the campaign and last season Holocaust survivor Harry Spiro addressed players at the training ground while delegations from the club visited the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Abramovich is believed to be concerned by the past week’s events and is reported to have asked to have been made aware of Chelsea’s approach to dealing with discriminatory incidents.
UEFA will wait on official reports from the game before deciding whether to charge Chelsea
The Headhunters group has lost prominence in recent times but they were alleged to be involved with violence in Paris Saint-Germain fans in 2014 in the French capital while in 2011, 24 men were sentenced after the hooligans were involved in violent scenes with Cardiff City fans following an FA Cup fixture in the previous year.
It is understood that Chelsea are privately confident that the banner did not make it into the Groupama Arena, where Chelsea drew 2-2 against MOL Vidi. The club have stewards and spotters present in away ends and it was not seen or reported on within the stadium.
It is therefore expected that the banner was only exposed outside a bar in Budapest. The club do not allow any Headhunter imagery around their stadium and forbid any banners making reference to the group at away grounds.