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Azpilicueta on Rudiger incident: Racism is an issue not only in football but in life

SoccerNews in English Premier League 22 Dec 2019

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Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta described his concern at continued occurrences of racist abuse after team-mate Antonio Rudiger reported an incident during the 2-0 win at Tottenham.

The Blues outplayed Spurs and scored twice through Willian, but an intense London derby was overshadowed by what occurred away from the pitch.

Rudiger was on the end of a petulant kick from Son Heung-min that saw the Tottenham player sent off, with the defender then reporting to Azpilicueta that there had been racist chanting directed at him.

Referee Anthony Taylor was informed and paused the game to inform the two coaches, with supporters also addressed inside the stadium with a message condemning racism.

“It’s very clear every time we have meetings with the Premier League and with the referees before the game, we are told to report any incident with racism straight away to the ref,” Azpilicueta told Sky Sports.

“Toni [Rudiger] came to me and told me he was listening to some racist songs towards him, so I just reported it to the ref immediately and left the ref to do his job.

“We are very concerned and very aware of this behaviour and, all together, we need to stop it.

“We went straight to play [after the red card], and the incident with Son and his red card was in the area where it happened.

“I hope everything gets clear and we eradicate [racism] as soon as possible. It is an issue not only in football but in life. Together, we need to work towards the eradication of the problem.”

Reflecting on the win, Azpilicueta added: “It’s amazing. It feels very good for us, for the fans, to come here and win after a run that was not the best, to keep a clean sheet. It’s a very good win.”

After his two-goal display, Willian said: “I’m happy, of course, with the two goals, but the most important thing is always to win the game. We did a brilliant job today and I’m happy for that.”

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