Footage that went viral online showed Chelsea fans in a pub singing a song about Salah being a 'bomber'. The incident is the latest incident of prejudice in European football.
A video of Chelsea fans singing about Liverpool star Mohamed Salah being a 'bomber' has gone viral, sparking widespread condemnation, as well as compounding fears of how widespread racism is in European football.
The video shared on Twitter and picked up by a number of British media outlets shows a group of White English Chelsea supporters shouting the abuse in a pub while onlookers either laugh or join in.
Liverpool are set to play Chelsea over the weekend in a tie that could determine the fate of their Premier League challenge.
Chelsea fans singing "Salah is a bomber". Wouldn't expect anything else from that disgusting fanbase pic.twitter.com/kk9dgiJwXu— 🆗️ (@kexxc) April 11, 2019
The video caused uproar on social media with former footballers and the clubs involved issuing statements.
Former Liverpool striker, Stan Collymore, who is of mixed heritage himself, called the incident a direct result of the UK's right-wing atmosphere.
"I hope Mo (Salah) shows this to his 8.4 million followers on twitter as to how tolerant the nation he plies his trade in, is. "
Both Liverpool and Chelsea have issued statements condemning the video.
In its statement, Liverpool said the video was "dangerous and disturbing".
"Already this season, we have seen repulsive discriminatory abuse inside stadiums in England, Europe and across the world; abuse that was captured on devices and put into the public domain," the club said, adding:
"This behaviour needs to be called out for what it is - unadulterated bigotry."
Officials at Chelsea have also condemned the video, and immediately banned the fans featured from attending the club's Europa League fixture against Slavia Prague on Thursday night.
#afc have launched an investigation into a social media post which appears to show Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly being racially abused. Club says they “utterly condemn use of this type of racist language” and “anyone behaving like this is not welcome at Arsenal and will be banned”.— James Olley (@JamesOlley) April 12, 2019
But despite the swift condemnation, the incident is far from isolated, with several major racist controversies in the past few months alone.
No sooner had the dust settled after the video of abuse targeting Mohamed Salah, reports filtered through that Arsenal were investigating a fan for making racist gestures at Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly during their Europa league match.
The list goes on.
In March, several Black English players were subjected to monkey noises and racist chants during a match against Montenegro.
In early April, Juventus forward Moise Kean was subject to abuse during a match against Cagliari.
Instead of tolerating the racism, Kean scored and stood defiantly and silently in front of the fans taunting him.
"The best way to respond to racism," he wrote on his Instagram account.
After each incident, attention turns to football's governing authorities, such as UEFA and FIFA to take action, but the sanctions they issue often leave anti-racism activists and footballers disappointed.
“For me, the likes of FIFA have to be tougher [on racism]," said Arsenal star Hector Bellerin.
"They don’t do enough. Football should bring people together. The problems shouldn’t be hidden away,” he continued.
But the pressure remains on FIFA to act with even its chief, Gianni Infantino conceding that fines were no longer working.