Millwall and Nottingham Forest both issue statements on Chalobah claims

Forest City Ground

On-loan Chelsea midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah claims he was the victim of racial abuse whilst representing Nottingham Forest at the New Den.

Nottingham Forest's on-loan midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah was the target of racist chanting at the New Den on Tuesday, it is alleged.

Chalobah, 18, reportedly told a member of Nottingham Forest coaching staff that he had heard racial abuse from a section of the Millwall fans, as his side drew 2-2 with the Lions.

The incident was reported to members of Millwall's stewarding team by the Forest coach, prompting the club stadium manager to take action.

The stadium manager issued a further five stewards with instructions to attend to the section of the ground where the chanting is said to have come from, as well as getting the stewarding supervisor to consult previous stewards over whether any abuse was heard. 

In a statement on the club's official website, Millwall have said:

"It had been reported by a member of the Forest coaching staff to a Millwall tunnel steward at half-time during the match that the player felt he had been racially abused.

"Millwall's stadium manager duly instructed the trackside stewards' supervisor to speak to all stewards in the area where the alleged abuse was heard. In addition, five additional trackside stewards were deployed to the area for the second half.

"The Forest coach informed the tunnel steward that the player did not wish to make an official complaint, and in the absence of any corroborative evidence, police were not called and there was nothing reported post-match by the officials, police or Nottingham Forest staff.

"In the light of the player's subsequent decision to raise the issue once more, Millwall Football Club will assist and support any police investigation that may ensue, and if evidence of racism comes to light, do everything possible to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice and receive due penalty.

"However, we are disappointed that the chances of substantiating the allegations have been significantly reduced due to the fact they were not deemed serious enough for an official complaint, which would have led to immediate police involvement, to be made at the time." 

Chalobah's loan club, Nottingham Forest, released the following statement:

"Nottingham Forest treat any incident of this nature extremely seriously and will be liaising closely with the relevant authorities in their investigation of this issue.

"At half-time, the on-loan Chelsea midfielder told Forest's deputy manager Ned [David] Kelly that he believed he was subjected to racist chanting from a section of the home support in the first half.

"The 18-year-old, who claims to have been initially subject to verbal abuse from the same section after receiving treatment for an injury in the opening minutes, was upset by the alleged abuse and struggled to keep his concentration during the interval as a result."

Chalobah joined the Championship side on loan in September, having signed a five-year deal with parent club Chelsea just a month earlier.

Chalobah has featured regularly for Gareth Southgate's England U21 side, and has so far scored two goals in his seven appearances for the Tricky Trees.

image: © mapperley_jas

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