Chelsea have banned a season ticket holder indefinitely for aiming racist abuse at Tottenham’s South Korea forward Son Heung-min during the 2-2 Premier League draw at Stamford Bridge.
Son was subjected to the sickening taunts from a member of the crowd in last Sunday’s stormy London derby.
Chelsea have concluded an investigation by banning the season ticket holder.
“Following our statement this week on racist abuse at the Tottenham game last Sunday, Chelsea Football Club can confirm that it has identified and banned a season ticket holder indefinitely,” a Chelsea statement said on Saturday.
Chelsea have previously handed out life bans to supporters found guilty of racial abuse at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues took their latest initiative in the long-running No To Hate campaign before Sunday’s Spurs clash, taking steps to make it easier for spectators to report alleged abuse.
Son Heung-min has been congratulated by South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol for winning the Premier League’s Golden Boot, as his club Tottenham Hotspur announced Tuesday they would play a pre-season friendly against Sevilla in Suwon on July 16.
Son on Sunday became the first Asian footballer to be the English top flight’s leading scorer with 23 goals, with President Yoon calling it a “joyous occasion to be celebrated by the entire Asian football community”.
“I believe this award is the result of your passion after having devoted yourself and worked endlessly for your team all season,” Yoon said in a message to Son, posted on Facebook.
Son’s achievement was “a message of hope” for South Koreans during the Covid-19 pandemic, Yoon said, adding that he was looking forward to watching Son lead South Korea at the World Cup in Qatar in November and December.
Tottenham’s final match of the season against Norwich on Sunday was aired live in South Korea, kicking off at midnight and ending at 2:00 am Monday.
But fans said Son’s 22nd and 23rd league goals of the season in Tottenham’s 5-0 win, which enabled him to share the scoring honours with Liverpool’s Mo Salah, made staying up late worth it.
“I was too happy and excited even when I was lying in bed, so I couldn’t sleep,” one posted online.
“This season’s Son Heung-min uniform will be our family treasure from today,” another added.
Tottenham enjoy a large fan base in South Korea and the club will play two matches in the country on a pre-season tour of Asia in July.
Tottenham will face the K-League All-Stars in Seoul on July 13 and Sevilla FC three days later in Suwon, 45 kilometres south of Seoul.
Tottenham made a winning start to life after Jose Mourinho as Son Heung-min’s last-minute penalty sealed a vital 2-1 victory against Southampton in their first match since withdrawing from the controversial European Super League on Wednesday.
Mourinho was sacked on Monday after 17 turbulent months in charge of the north London club, but his shock exit was overshadowed by the fall-out from the bitter Super League row.
Languishing outside the top four and knocked out of the Europa League by Dinamo Zagreb, Tottenham would have benefitted more than most from the proposed Super League.
But instead they were forced to become one of six Premier League clubs to withdraw from the reviled breakaway tournament on Tuesday after a furious backlash.
Celebrating the Super League’s demise and calling for Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy to quit, a handful of fans gathered outside the stadium holding signs that read: “We said no to Super League” and “Thanks for NO memories. Time to say goodbye. Levy out”.
The Super League was dead in the water just 48 hours after its creation, forcing Tottenham to focus on a more traditional way of making it into Europe’s elite.
Against that backdrop, a win in the first match of the post-Mourinho era was essential and they achieved it thanks to their first recovery from a half-time deficit this season.
Danny Ings put Southampton ahead, but Gareth Bale equalised before Son converted a last-gasp penalty.
Tottenham move into sixth place, two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, who have a game in hand in the race to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Mourinho’s failure to lead Tottenham into the top four and a deteriorating relationship with his squad proved his downfall.
The axe fell just six days before Tottenham’s bid to win a first trophy since 2008 against Manchester City in the League Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.
Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann is the bookmakers’ favourite to replace Mourinho.
But for now, former Tottenham midfielder Ryan Mason has been placed in charge on a caretaker basis and this was an encouraging start before he has to pit his wits against City boss Pep Guardiola.
– Winning start for Mason – Aged just 29, Mason, who has been working in Tottenham’s youth academy, is the youngest boss in Premier League history and the first younger than 30 to manage in the English top flight since QPR’s Frank Sibley in 1977.
“I thought it was fantastic. I’m so proud of the boys,” Mason said.
“Tonight was important for many reasons; a change of manager, a lot has gone on at the club in the last 48 hours. It was important to get back to winning ways.”
Southampton deservedly took the lead in the 30th minute when Ings timed his run perfectly to meet James Ward-Prowse’s corner with a superb glancing header into the far corner.
Tottenham were without England captain Harry Kane after the striker suffered an ankle injury in Friday’s draw at Everton.
In Kane’s absence, Tottenham were toothless in the first half, but they improved after the break.
Bale provided a rare moment of inspiration as he equalised with Tottenham’s first shot on target in the 60th minute.
Pouncing on Lucas Moura’s blocked shot, the Wales forward curled home from an acute angle inside the Southampton area.
A helping hand from VAR set up Son’s winner as Moussa Djenepo’s foul on Harry Winks was upgraded to a penalty after initially being ruled a free-kick just outside the area.
Son made no mistake from the spot to give Tottenham their first win in four games.
Later on Wednesday, leaders Manchester City can move a step closer to a third Premier League title in four seasons if they win at Aston Villa.
Guardiola’s side, knocked out of the FA Cup semi-finals by Chelsea on Saturday, are eight points clear of second placed Manchester United with six games left.
Harry Kane and Son Heung-min were again Tottenham’s talismen in a 3-0 win over Leeds to kickstart their title challenge on Saturday but a third Premier League game this week was postponed due to coronavirus outbreaks.
Burnley’s clash with Fulham, scheduled for Sunday, was called off due to a number of positive cases among the Fulham squad.
Fulham’s trip to Tottenham was also postponed just hours before kick-off on Wednesday, to the frustration of Spurs boss Jose Mourinho.
But even as his side ended a four-game winless run with a return to form against Leeds, Mourinho also lambasted three of his players for breaking coronavirus restrictions.
Giovani Lo Celso, Erik Lamela and Sergio Reguilon were pictured attending a large party with family and friends over Christmas along with West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini.
“We are extremely disappointed and strongly condemn this image showing some of our players with family and friends together at Christmas, particularly as we know the sacrifices everybody around the country made to stay safe over the festive period,” a Tottenham statement said. “The matter will be dealt with internally.”
The latest breach by players will do little to ease the pressure on the Premier League to halt the season as a “circuit-breaking” measure to cope with the soaring infection rates across England.
Despite the latest postponement, the Premier League again insisted there were no plans for a pause.
“With low numbers of positive tests across the overwhelming majority of clubs, the League continues to have confidence in its COVID-19 protocols, fully backed by the Government, to enable fixtures to be played as scheduled,” the league said in a statement.
– ‘Telepathic’ Tottenham duo –
On the field, Kane and Son ended two games without a goal to move Tottenham up to third and within four points of leaders Liverpool and Manchester United.
Kane opened the scoring from the penalty spot before turning provider for Son to slot home his 100th goal for the club.
It was the 13th time Kane and Son had combined for a goal this term, equalling the Premier League record set by Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton for Blackburn in 1994-95.
“He knew I was there. Sometimes it is telepathic,” said Son
“To score 100 goals with one team is a big thing. I’m very proud. It’s a good way to start the new year.”
The South Korean then also got an assist early in the second-half when his corner was headed home by Toby Alderweireld.
At the other end of the table, Sheffield United remain without a win all season as they crept ever closer to a return to the Championship with a 2-0 defeat at Crystal Palace.
Jeffrey Schlupp opened the scoring after just four minutes before he was forced off with an injury and made way for Eberechi Eze.
The England under-21 international then ran from deep inside his own half past a couple of weak challenges before slotting into the far corner in first-half stoppage time.
A first win in six games eased the Eagles’ woes and moved them up to 12th.
The Blades, meanwhile, remain on just two points from 17 games, 11 adrift of safety.
Tottenham Hotspur’s forward, Son Heung-min has won the 2020 FIFA Puskas Award.
The award, established in 2009, is given to the player who scores the “most aesthetically significant, or ‘most beautiful’, goal of the calendar year.”
Son won the award for his goal against Burnley in the English premier league.
“Twelve thrilling seconds were all it took for Son Heungmin to take the ball from his own 18-yard box and find the net at the other end,” FIFA said.
“The goal showcased everything that has led Tottenham Hotspur fans to fall in love with their Korea Republic star, with pace, power, persistence and clinical finishing all on show.
“Gary Lineker, himself a former Spurs favourite, described it as ‘one of the greatest individual goals you’re ever likely to see’, and the public agreed, voting in huge numbers to crown this superb solo strike as the year’s best.”
Pep Guardiola admitted Manchester City played perfectly into Tottenham’s hands as Spurs shot to the top of the table with a 2-0 win thanks to goals on the counter-attack from Son Heung-min and Giovani Lo Celso.
Spurs have not won an English top-flight title in 60 years, but showed their title credentials with a defensive resilience to frustrate City’s domination of possession and ruthlessly take their chances as they scored with their only two shots on target.
Defeat leaves City already eight points off the leaders, albeit with a game in hand, down in 10th with just three wins from their opening eight games.
The writing was on the wall for the visitors after just five minutes when one simple ball over the top from Tanguy Ndombele caught Joao Cancelo sleeping and Son had the pace and precise finish under Ederson to register his sixth goal in 11 games against City.
“The stats speak for themselves, we were better in many departments but we conceded a goal we cannot concede,” said Guardiola.
“It was the perfect scenario for them. We knew (Harry) Kane drops and Son runs in behind. We have to defend better.”
Victory ensured Tottenham will finish the day on top of the table for the first time in six years. Jose Mourinho’s men move two points ahead of Chelsea, who they face next weekend at Stamford Bridge.
“I prefer to be top but it is not an obsession,” said Mourinho. I don’t care about the table, the opponent, the competition. I want to go to the next game believing we can win the game.
“This team is a process. There are good signs of evolution at every level, we are happy with that, but I dont care too much about the table right now.”
Guardiola ended speculation over his future by committing to a new contract as City boss until 2023 this week.
The Catalan has won eight league titles at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and City, but Guardiola now faces a challenge he has never had before in rebuilding a second title-winning side at the same club.
For the sixth consecutive league game City failed to score more than once with little sign of Guardiola’s men rediscovering the cutting edge of the free-scoring sides that won back-to-back titles in 2017/18 and 2018/19.
“We are struggling to score goals this season, that can happen,” added Guardiola. “They shot two times (on target), two goals and we cannot score with 22 shots.”
Tottenham’s title challenge will be fully tested with Arsenal, Liverpool and Leicester also to come before Christmas, but they could not have made a better start to that daunting run.
“You can see it is open with the way the table stands,” said Kane after Spurs’ fourth straight league win. “Whoever can put a good spell together has a chance of winning it.”
After the early opener, the game then settled into the familiar pattern of now 24 clashes between Mourinho and Guardiola as Mourinho’s men defended their lead deep and waited for the chance to counter again.
The visitors had 66 percent of possession but struggled to break down the mass ranks of Spurs defence.
Gabriel Jesus inadvertently deflected Kevin De Bruyne’s low shot wide before Jesus did tee up Aymeric Laporte to slot home, but the goal was ruled out for handball by the Brazilian after a VAR review.
Instead, it was Tottenham who landed the knockout blow 25 minutes from time with another simple counter-attack.
Kane was afforded plenty of time and space to collect a loose ball in midfield and drive forward before feeding Lo Celso, who had barely been on the field a minute and with his first two touches, controlled and then slotted the ball low beyond the advancing Ederson.
Tottenham forward, Son Heung-min has said his military service in South Korea was a “special experience.”
Son, 27, performed a three-week mandatory service in his native country in April just after recovering from a fractured arm.
While speaking about his experience during the service, he said he enjoyed it and he did everything possible to make the most of the moment.
He said, also, that he met some nice persons during the period even though it was tough.
“It’s not private, it was in newspapers everywhere! I had to wear the army suit (uniform). It was a special experience,” he told Spurs TV.
“These guys will never have that experience. I couldn’t say everything I did, but I really enjoyed it, the guys were nice. Three weeks were tough, but those experiences… I will never have those experiences. I tried to enjoy the three weeks.”
The player injured his arm in mid-February before the Premier League was suspended due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
Matches in the Premier League will restart in June with Liverpool expected to win the trophy.
Tottenham Hotspur striker Son Heung-min was named one of the top five recruits in his unit as he finished three weeks of compulsory military training in South Korea on Friday.
South Korea’s marine corps posted pictures of Son wielding an M-16 assault rifle and saluting on their Facebook page as he completed his stint at a boot camp.
All able-bodied South Korean men are obliged to serve in the military for nearly two years, making up the bulk of Seoul’s 600,000-strong forces — who face off against North Korea’s army of 1.3 million.
But Son — the top Asian goalscorer in Premier League history, and the Asian Football Confederation’s reigning international player of the year — was in the South Korean team that earned an exemption by winning gold at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.
The Spurs star broke down in tears of joy after the 2-1 extra-time win over Japan, which meant he could fulfil his obligations with just three weeks’ basic training and around 500 hours of community service.
In April he reported to a marines camp on the island of Jeju for the basic training, which involved lengthy hikes, as well as tear-gas training and rifle practice.
He was judged among the five best recruits out of 157 on his course, a spokesperson for the Republic of Korea Marine Corps told AFP.
“Son did exceptionally well in all areas of training, including military ethics and security education,” he added.
Likes poured in for the Facebook pictures, with fans posting messages of congratulation.
“He indeed is world-class. I’m a die-hard Son Heung-min fan,” wrote one South Korean marine veteran.
The Premier League has been suspended since mid-March due to the coronavirus and no date has yet been set for a resumption.
Korean star Son Heung-min has fractured his right arm his club Tottenham Hotspur said on Tuesday delivering a blow to their hopes of silverware this season and qualifying for the Champions League next season.
The 27-year-old South Korean international forward suffered the injury in the 3-2 Premier League victory over Aston Villa — in which he scored twice including the late winner — on Sunday.
Son suffered the injury in a robust first-minute challenge from Villa’s Ezri Konsa.
The club did not specify how long Son would be out.
Spurs manager Jose Mourinho is already without star striker Harry Kane — sidelined since January with a torn hamstring — and as the club enters a crucial period. Midfielder Moussa Sissoko is another long-term casualty.
They host German side, Leipzig, in a Champions League Last 16 clash on Wednesday and play Chelsea in a match that could prove pivotal to the fourth and final Champions League spot.
“Heung-Min Son is to undergo surgery this week after sustaining a fracture to his right arm,” read Spurs statement.
“The South Korea international suffered the injury during our win against Aston Villa on Sunday.
“Following surgery, our medical staff shall be reviewing management options for Son’s rehabilitation with the player expected to be sidelined for a number of weeks.”
Son was in a rich run of form having scored in each of the last five matches.