White Hart Shame: Lennon and Defoe allegedly racially abused by Lazio fans
00:07 GMT, 21 September 2012
Football faced another racism storm on Thursday night after monkey chants were aimed at Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon by Lazio fans at White Hart Lane.
In front of UEFA president Michel Platini, the Europa League clash was soured in the second half as supporters reported on Twitter that the pair had been abused by a group of 100 visiting fans.
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas urged UEFA to take action, although he admitted he had not heard the abuse. He said: ‘I was focused on the game and I haven’t heard anything from the players.
Target: Lazio fans allegedly directed vile racist abuse at Tottenham striker Defoe
‘UEFA is very active in these situations. Our objective is to kick racism out of football but I can’t point the finger tonight because I didn’t hear it. It’s up to the authorities to follow up any investigation.’
The club will decide on Friday whether to make a formal complaint to UEFA.
Villas-Boas declared himself happy with his team's considerable efforts.
'I think we did enough to get the win today,' he told ITV4. 'I am extremely happy with the performance and the effort that the players put in.
'You can't reprimand them for anything, they were outstanding. “They managed to create enough opportunities to win the game.
team put the ball in the back of the net three times, but all the goals
were disallowed by the ref, so it's a bit disappointing.
shows that we are on the right track to giving something back to the
fans. We were superior against a team that is doing extremely well. We
can be happy with that performance.'
Meanwhile, Tottenham striker Clint Dempsey objected to referee Ovidiu Alin Hategan’s decision to disallow his goal against the Italians.
Remarkably, Spurs had three goals ruled out, as Dempsey and Defoe were both denied by an offside flag, and defender Steven Caulker saw his header harshly cancelled out for a foul.
Dempsey said: ‘I thought I was level with the line, it was a good ball from Gareth Bale and as it went in I thought I’d opened my account but it was waved offside.
‘They defended well, they set up to counter-attack but we were unlucky not to score tonight.’
Heated: The fiery clash at White hart Lane had a number of flashpoints
Dempsey was a deadline-day capture
from Tottenham's cross-city rivals Fulham, and despite being denied the
chance to register a first goal, the American is pleased with the way
things are going.
good to be getting games,' he added. 'I'm trying to create chances or
trying to get on the end of things, I can play in other positions.
were tough to break down, they set out to defend and played for the
counter. We had some good chances and were unlucky not to get a goal.'
Defender Steven Caulker also had his goal ruled out for a perceived push on his marker.
added: 'I thought it was a little harsh but I haven't seen the replay
yet. I'm glad to keep a clean sheet and I think we'll go forward in the
'They're one of the stronger sides in the group so we're pleased with the point. We set out to win but we'll rebuild and go again.'
Captain's job: Lennon wore the armband on a night when he was also an alleged victim of abuse
Caulker, who has developed his skills during loan spells at Bristol City and Swansea, was trusted with the responsibility of marshalling the Spurs backline.
Youngsters Andros Townsend and Ryan Mason also acquitted themselves well against the likes of Miroslav Klose, Hernanes and Stefano Mauri.
And Villas-Boas is pleased to see a new generation coming to the fore, adding: 'This club has always promoted young talent.
'We managed to give Andros a couple more minutes today, Caulker was outstanding at centre-half against one of the best strikers in the world.
'These players have been taught well in their education and it was great to see them.'