Yossi Benayoun: antisemitism from Chelsea fans was 'worse'
Yossi Benayoun (Photo David Lee)
Chelsea footballer Yossi Benayoun has revealed that the antisemitic abuse directed at him by the club’s own fans was the worst he has ever experienced in his 20 year career.
The Israel international described how at an away match against Liverpool last month Chelsea supporters yelled “Jew and other stuff that was worse” as he came on as a late substitute.
In an interview given in Israel he said: “I was warming up, in readiness for the substitution, when I started getting it from one or two fans… there were threatening words like little so and so Jew and other stuff that was worse.”
He added: “I had never encountered anything like that before in all my career. I have played in Spain and the Premier League, and all over the world with the Israel national team, but I’ve never had that.”
At the time Mr Benayoun had complained to Chelsea officials who had promised to look into it.
He said this week: “I suppose you have to accept there are racist supporters throughout the world who can target you at any time, but it’s still not nice. I complained about it to Chelsea, and they said they would investigate, along with the police.”
Mr Benayoun, who is not renewing his contract at Chelsea, said that he wanted to carry on playing in Britain. He said: “I will never go back to play in Israel. I want to finish my career in Europe, and I still firmly believe I can make a difference for a side in England.”