Chelsea suspend four supporters … after racist abuse of Raheem Sterling

Picture shows a number of Chelsea fans jeering at Sterling

Picture shows a number of Chelsea fans jeering at Sterling

CHELSEA have suspended four people from attending matches, following allegations that Raheem Sterling was racially abused at Stamford Bridge.

One of the group was named to the Daily Mail as Colin Wing, 60, from Beckenham.

Footage appeared to show a group of fans in the lower tier of the Matthew Harding Stand angrily shouting at the Manchester City player as he went to retrieve the ball during the 2-0 victory for the home side.

Sterling, who turned 24 that day, has said he heard racist insults and has spoken to the Metropolitan Police, who are also investigating.

A Chelsea spokesman said on Monday: “Our investigations into this matter are ongoing. We are fully supporting the police investigation and any information we gather will be passed on to them.

“If there is evidence of ticket holders taking part in any racist behaviour, the club will issue severe sanctions, including bans. We will also fully support any criminal prosecutions.”

Chelsea were made aware of the footage towards the end of the fixture and officials and police spoke to those who are thought to have been involved.

Chelsea passed their details to the police and plan to speak to the group again, as do investigating officers. Some have claimed that a supporter in blue can be seen calling Sterling a ‘f****** black c***’, although there has been speculation the word used was ‘Manc’ and not ‘black’.

City said they welcomed the suspensions. A spokesman said the club and Sterling are ‘fully engaged’ with Chelsea and police.

Sterling spoke to Met Police detectives who travelled to Manchester on Sunday.

Crowds at Premier League matches are already closely monitored. Each fixture is overseen by a control room with a match commander, while stewards are trained to identify instances of abuse. Last year, Manchester United installed rotating cameras so all areas of their ground can be examined.

The Premier League has funded an app on which supporters can report racist behaviour they witness via their mobile phones.

The Professional Footballers’ Association said they stood “shoulder to shoulder” with Sterling.

“It is evident that he is often singled out and treated more harshly than his colleagues,” said a union statement.

“As such, these stories are fuelling racism within the game, as reports of racist abuse continue to rise.

“We have been aware for a few months of the targeting Raheem faces in the press.”

Chelsea fan Nathan Lewis was close to those who were shouting at the England forward. He told Good Morning Britain: “Sterling was getting a lot of abuse from all sections but I have to be honest and say I didn’t actually hear any racial abuse.”

Lewis, who is black, added: “A lot of people have been questioning me and my integrity as to why I didn’t get involved, why I didn’t react. I didn’t actually hear anything racial from any section of the crowd, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.” – MailOnline

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