Supporters at Tottenham’s soccer game against London rival Chelsea were warned three times to stop racist abuse during unprecedented Premier League stadium announcements on Sunday.
The referee was implementing FIFA’s protocol dealing with discrimination in games after appearing to receive complaints from the players.
“Racist behavior from spectators is interfering with the game,” the announcer said in a warning to fans. “Please remember that racism has no place in football.”
Chelsea defender Antonio Rüdiger was seen around the 63rd minute indicating he had faced racist abuse, imitating a monkey gesture. Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta confirmed the directed abuse.
"It is made very clear to us all that if we have heard any racist incident to report it," Azpilicueta said, according to the BBC. "Toni came to me and told me he was listening to racist songs towards him, so I reported it to the referee."
The Associated Press' Rob Harris says the FIFA protocol regarding racist incidents was not followed. After a second announcement, the match should be abandoned "if the discriminatory behavior still does not cease or breaks out again."
Chelsea won the game 2-0.
This marked the second time in three weeks that a Premier League game was suspended due to racist behavior.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.