Antonio Rudiger: How are authorities responding to Chelsea defender's racism claim at Tottenham?
Tottenham and Met Police looking for perpetrator; FA looking at Spurs' protocol; PFA put pressure on government, whose sports minister is watching closely
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 23/12/19 9:25pm
Sky Sports News looks at how relevant authorities are responding to Antonio Rudiger's claim of racism from the Tottenham crowd during Sunday's game....
After Rudiger reported the incident to his captain Cesar Azpilicueta and referee Anthony Taylor, the Premier League's anti-discrimination protocol was launched for the first time and Tottenham immediately began an investigation.
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The club's team of safety officers are examining CCTV footage in a bid to identify anyone responsible; liaising with the Met Police and their team of stewards who were stationed in the south-east corner of the stadium, where the alleged incident unfolded.
In a statement on Monday, Tottenham said they have engaged lip readers to study the footage and contacted Chelsea for further information from their players.
The club have reported that their findings so far are inconclusive but that any fan found guilty will receive a lifetime ban.
Unrelated to that, the Met Police have confirmed one fan was arrested for racist abuse but the force have not confirmed reports this involved a Chelsea fan who was arrested for racially abusing Heung-Min Son.
Around the stadium there are signs for a text messaging service that fans can use to report any abusive behaviour they might witness, but Spurs have been unable to confirm whether it had received any messages during or after the incident.
Spurs chose to repeat the PA announcement a total of three times, and the club has told Sky Sports News that doing so is part of the club's protocol and not because any racist abuse had continued to occur.
The Premier League
The Premier League released the following statement on Monday evening: "The Premier League and our clubs will not tolerate discrimination in any form.
"If people are found to have racially abused Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger or Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min, they deserve to be punished.
"We will support Tottenham Hotspur FC and Chelsea FC in their pursuit of any perpetrators and call for appropriate action to be taken by the authorities and the clubs.
"We appreciate the millions of supporters who help create a positive Premier League matchday atmosphere and have made it clear that racist conduct or language is unacceptable.
"The Premier League uses a protocol specifically designed to support players, managers and match officials who believe they are being subjected to discriminatory abuse during a match.
"This protocol is intended to ensure that abuse is stopped and offenders dealt with efficiently by clubs and police."
The Football Association (FA)
An FA spokesperson has told Sky Sports News: "We are aware of the incident in the match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea. We are working with the match officials, the clubs and the relevant authorities to fully establish the facts and take the appropriate steps."
The governing body's investigation will centre on how Spurs dealt with the incident as a club.
Sports Minister Nigel Adams will speak to the Premier League and Tottenham following calls from the PFA for a government inquiry into racism in football.
Mr Adams told Sky Sports News he takes the issue of racism very seriously and wants to use the conversations to get to the bottom of the incident involving Rudiger and discuss the next steps.
He said: "Depressing to see events at White Hart Lane. I welcome Spurs investigation and will be speaking with the club's directors. There is no place for racism or any kind of discrimination in football or anywhere else."
The Department for Culture, Media & Sport
Damian Collins MP is standing for re-election for chairman of the DCMS select committee and says he could push to strengthen the law if instances of racism continue.
He said: "Hopefully when the committees are reformed this is something we can look at - and I would be keen to do so. I think the role that a select committee can play is to call in the minister and the relevant authorities and ask 'what have you done to take this forward', and we can make our own recommendations to the government.
"I would like to see the law strengthened so that homophobic abuse in football grounds is being treated as a criminal offence, just as racist abuse is. The legal power exists - it's a question of training and enforcement for the people that steward the grounds, making sure it's clear that it's zero tolerance.
"The law is clear. The challenge for the football authorities is how to enforce that both after the fact, but also in and around the game to discourage that behaviour - and in-game sanctions against clubs, like playing behind closed doors, or points deductions, as well as the risk of games being abandoned, I think all contributes to changing the culture."
The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA)
The PFA's deputy chief-executive Bobby Barnes held a "very positive" phone meeting with the Sports Minister, Nigel Adams MP on Monday, about the way forward in combating racism in football.
Barnes said they are doing all they can to put pressure on those in charge of protecting players, and backed them to walk off the pitch if they are not.
Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports News on Monday, Barnes said: "Ultimately what we have to bear in mind is that these are public order offences. They are actually hate crimes. While we have protocols for stopping games, or have a club banning a supporter for life, what we really need to see is the next stage on.
"While it's all well and good to ban a supporter from a football ground, I think that lets them off the hook. We need to see a far more effective range of sentences and sanctions to make this sort of behaviour subject to severe deterrents.
"We've talked about empowering players and certainly I believe that those that are tasked to manage the game should be taking the responsibility to protect the players in a safe working environment.
"If they can't do that, I would have no qualms to endorse and support any player walking off himself. But a much more powerful statement would be for the referee to lead all 22 off."