(Reuters) – Chelsea coach Frank Lampard says he felt “disgusted” when he heard about the racist abuse striker Tammy Abraham received following their UEFA Super Cup loss to Liverpool and urged social media companies to take stricter action.
Abraham took the decisive penalty at 5-4 on Wednesday and saw his effort saved by goalkeeper Adrian which handed European champions Liverpool the trophy in Istanbul, after which the 21-year-old was subjected to racist abuse on social media.
“Obviously Tammy is more than disappointed, who wouldn’t be? I’m disgusted by this so-called Chelsea fan,” Lampard told reporters ahead of the visit of Leicester City in the Premier League. “I’m so angry for Tammy… for us as a club, because that’s not what we’re about.
“I don’t know how it’s allowed on (social media) platforms, it’s too easy. Something needs to be done, as well as obviously changing mindsets completely.
“Tammy asked me to take the fifth penalty because he wanted to stand up on a big night when the world was watching. Moments afterwards, somebody sitting behind a keyboard or a phone has said the most disgusting things possible.”
British anti-discriminatory body Kick It Out and Premier League players such as Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard offered their support to the striker in the wake of the abuse.
Abraham scored 26 goals on loan at Aston Villa in the Championship last season and Lampard said he expects him to find the net just as frequently for Chelsea once he opens his account.
“Tammy is always desperate to score and that’s one of the things I love about him,” the former England international added. “He’s hungry, he wants to score in training… But he needs to be relaxed at the same time.”
Lampard also hailed Mason Mount, saying the 20-year-old midfielder could play a crucial role in what could be his breakthrough season in the senior team.
“His attitude is so good, he’s so hungry but he’s very understanding of what he needs to be a player,” Lampard said.
“He trains every day with absolute application and focus. The impact when he came on Wednesday and the way he played against Manchester United gives me confidence that this will be the season for him.
“Will he start every game? Probably not. But if he carries on the way he’s going, he’s going to be a huge influence for us this season.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)