'He overcame it' – Abraham praises Rudiger's reaction to racist abuse following win over Spurs
December 23, 2019
The Blues defender helped earn the Blues first clean sheet away from home in the league this season in difficult personal circumstances
Tammy Abraham has praised his team-mate Antonio Rudiger for getting on with his match after he was allegedly racially abused by a Tottenham supporter in Chelsea’s 2-0 away win.
Rudiger was caught on the television cameras gesturing to suggest that he had heard monkey chants from a fan in the home end shortly after Son Hueng-min was sent off for a foul on the Blues defender in the second half.
The Germany international then spoke to Chelsea captain Azpilicueta who informed referee Anthony Taylor of the incident.
FIFA’s protocol against racism was then implemented which led to several announcements over the club’s speakers warning against incidents of ‘racist behaviour among spectators is interfering with the game’.
Abraham, who himself has suffered racial abuse this season after he missed a penalty against Liverpool in the Super Cup in August, praised Rudiger for quickly putting it out of his mind.
“No he hasn’t [spoken to me about it],” Abraham told reporters at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium. “I was on the other side of the pitch when it happened but I was aware of what happened. It didn’t affect his performance.
“He is a strong character. It goes to show he is a fantastic player and he overcame it.”
Tottenham have since issued a statement after the match in which Willian scored both goals in a London derby to say they will investigate the incident.
The 22-year-old striker praised his opposition players too for showing concern about what happened in their North London stadium but he is unsure of what can be done to keep racism out of English football grounds.
“To be honest, I don’t know [how we end these incdients],” he added. “Everyone is doing as much as they can to make a stop to it but there’s going to be one or two people who are always going to remain the same.
“For us, it is about staying together. As you can see, the Spurs players as well came to comfort Toni. So it is nice for us to stay together and let football do the talking.”
Lampard has been strong on racism this season with another incident involving Kurt Zouma with his own fans also coming in August. He stands by his central defender but had yet to speak to him when meeting the media after the big away win.
“All I know is that Toni Rudiger said he heard a racist chant towards him,” Lampard told reporters. “I haven’t had an individual conversation with Toni. I have only addressed the group and a couple of the lads in doping.
“Of course I am going support Toni, as we would support any of our players or opposition players if this happens, whatever stadium it happens at. It needs to be dealt with. As I don’t know any more than that, we will wait for the process to happen.”
Chelsea next face Southampton and Arsenal in their final games of 2019 after earning a vital three points. The Blues have extended the gap between them and Spurs to six points after their away win on Sunday evening.