The Jewish Leadership council has spoken out against alleged anti-Semitic chanting by a number of Chelsea fans during a Europa League game.
A small group chanted offensive songs about Tottenham fans early into the match against MOL Vidi in Budapest on Thursday night.
Describing the incident as “thoroughly depressing”, the council echoed Chelsea’s condemnation of the chants.
On Friday, the club promised to take “the strongest possible” action against any supporters found to have sung an anti-Semitic chant on Thursday night in Budapest.
“Anti-Semitism and any other kind of race-related or religious hatred is abhorrent to this club and the overwhelming majority of our fans. It has no place at Chelsea or in any of our communities,” the statement read.
“We have stated this loud and clear on many occasions from the owner, the board, coaches and players.
“Any individuals that can’t summon the brainpower to comprehend this simple message and are found to have shamed the club by used using anti-Semitic or racist words or actions will face the strongest possible action from the club.”
Former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri praised his old club for their stance.
“I think Chelsea made the right statement,” said the Italian, now in charge at Fulham.
“This thing is not for football, it’s not for life. But there is a very little crowd who will say this and it’s important altogether to help make the right message to everybody.”
The incident comes just days after four fans were suspended for abusing Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling.
Sterling subsequently took to Instagram and blamed media coverage of young black footballers for fuelling racism in the UK.
His comments sparked a national conversation about discriminatory attitudes in football, with campaigners and sports pioneers showing public support for the 24-year-old, insisting that this issue needs to be addressed.
On Tuesday, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola added his voice to the criticism, telling a press conference that racism is a deep-rooted problem in the UK.
He said: “Racism is everywhere. People focus on football but it is not just in football, unfortunately.
“What happens with immigrants, refugees around the world, how we treat them. We have to fight for a better society.”
In January 2018, Chelsea Football Club announced a new campaign to raise awareness of and educate players, staff, fans and the wider community about antisemitism in football.
The long-term initiative forms part of our on-going inclusion work, through the Chelsea Foundation’s Building Bridges campaign
A group of 150 people, consisting of Chelsea club staff, stewards and supporters, visited Auschwitz in June to learn about the deaths of more than a million people killed there between 1940 and 1945.