Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri was booed by Chelsea fans in the 2-0 FA Cup defeat to Manchester United as United knocked Chelsea out of the tournament in the fifth round tie at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea fans had become disillusioned with Sarri’s tactics and stubbornness and couldn’t stand the manager’s like for like substitutions in the game against United. By the time he decided to bring on Davide Zappacosta for Cesar Azpilicueta, the fans had lost it and chanted against the manager.
In the following game against Malmo, Chelsea fans also booed Jorginho when he came on late in the game. Jorhingo is a regular for Sarri, and Sarri sees the Italian as irreplaceable in Sarri-ball, and has continued to stick with him and play N’Golo Kante in a more advanced midfield position much to the frustrations of Chelsea fans.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Tottenham, Sarri has called on the fans to at least support the players if they cannot support the manager.
He said: “I was disappointed with the atmosphere for my players. Only for my players. But I can understand the fans because they are used to winning. I’d like to see more support for my players, not for me.”
Chelsea fans have been involved in anti-Semitic chants twice this season especially in the Europa League game against MOL Vidi in December, and the club has released a statement urging the fans to desist from such acts in the game against Spurs.
Chelsea Football Club released a statement, thus: “We host Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night in what is sure to be another exciting and passionate London derby at Stamford Bridge.
“The team enjoyed fantastic support at our home match against Tottenham in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg last month, with the brilliant atmosphere at the Bridge driving the players to success on a dramatic night, and we would like to once again thank our fans and remind supporters to keep support positive.
“A small minority of Chelsea supporters have in the past tarnished this derby by using antisemitic chanting, noises and gestures, including the Y-word, offering the justification of opposition fans using those terms as a form of identity.
“We have repeatedly made our stance on this clear – there is no place for such behaviour at Chelsea Football Club.
“Such actions or language have no place anywhere in football or society and everybody at Chelsea is proud to be part of a diverse club. Our players, staff, fans and visitors come from a wide range of backgrounds, including the Jewish community, and we want to ensure everyone feels safe, valued and included.
“We have long been committed to opposing discrimination of all kinds through our Building Bridges initiative and in January 2018 launched the Say No To Antisemitism campaign, which is supported by the club’s owner Roman Abramovich and aims to raise awareness of and educate our players, staff, fans and the wider community about antisemitism and its impact.
“The formation of the independent #ChelseaTogether initiative, aligning several fan groups to oppose all forms of discrimination in and around our club, provides more evidence that the vast majority of Chelsea supporters share the club’s desire to see an end of such behaviour.
“We urge everybody to show their support in the right way tonight and do their bit to help the Blues claim an important and memorable victory as we aim to pick up vital Premier League points.
“Supporters can report any discriminatory or antisocial behaviour either to a steward, or text anonymously to 07894 93 77 93. Please note the stand, row and seat number of the person, as well as their appearance, height and build.”