Eden Hazard has urged Chelsea and Tottenham supporters to focus on supporting their teams with fears of anti-Semitic language in chants from both sets of fans dominating the build-up to Tuesday’s first leg of the Carabao Cup semifinal.
Sources told ESPN FC last month that Chelsea are likely to meet with Spurs ahead of the games with anti-Semitic chants high on the agenda, but Hazard wants football to take centre stage on Tuesday.
“Just watch the game and enjoy the game,” he said. “For sure after the game one team will win and one team will lose. Try to be fair. I like all fans. Spurs also have good away fans. I think it is a good game to play and I hope both fans will enjoy the game.
“Of course [I hope both fans respect each other]. These kind of fans [who sing abusive chants] are not fans of football, for me. They come to the stadium just to say something. I understand they want to win the game but they need to be fair. Just support their team and not [abuse] the other one.”
Hazard said everyone in football has a part to play in tackling the problem of racism in football which was raised when Raheem Sterling was targeted by Chelsea fans in December.
“When we are players, we are examples,” he added. “The fans are also examples. I want Chelsea fans to be the best in the world. I don’t want to see a bad image of the Chelsea fans, of course.
“In football in general, not just Chelsea fans, in Italy we saw a lot of things. I want these things to disappear. It’s hard because football is a big world but if we are all together step-by-step, players, managers, journalists, then we can do something. I want people to remember the game.”
Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri, who previously branded the alleged abuse directed at Sterling “disgusting,” is also keen for his club’s supporters to make an impact on the Tottenham tie for the right reasons.
“We need the support of our fans of course but we would like to have their support for us not against the opponents,” he said.