English Premier League club Chelsea have lodged a complaint to the Malaysian FA over racist abuse targeting Yossi Benayoun.The Israeli midfielder was jeered and booed during the club’s 1-0 friendly victory over the Malaysia national team in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
Chelsea, who toured also toured Thailand and Hong Kong as part of their pre-season programme, feel the baiting was of an anti-Semitic nature, with Malaysia being a largely Muslim country.
“Notwithstanding most fans behaving appropriately on the night, we believe Yossi was subjected to anti-Semitic abuse by a number of supporters at the game,” a statement posted on the club’s website on Wednesday read.
“Such behaviour is offensive, totally unacceptable and has no place in football.”
Chelsea also explained why an initial complaint was not made, with the incident not rearing its head until six days after the match had been completed.
“The club did not make representations at the time as it was initially unclear as to the nature of the abuse Yossi received, as several players from both teams experienced similar treatment, sometimes louder and longer.”
“However, having taken time to consider the issue fully, it has become apparent that a formal complaint was necessary.”
“Our stay in Malaysia was, on the whole, a very positive experience for all the team travelling on the pre-season tour. It is a shame, therefore, that the behaviour of a minority of supporters is also a memory we take away.”
The Football Association of Malaysia will investigate the matter, with its findings to be published in the coming days.