Chelsea have banned the four men accused of hurling racist insults at Raheem Sterling during Saturday’s game against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.
Shortly after the Premier League game concluded footage began to circulate on social media showing a section of Chelsea fans screaming at Raheem Sterling as he went to retrieve the ball, which is now being investigated by the club, the FA and the police.
According to BBC Sport, Chelsea are ‘fully supporting’ the police during their enquiries and have already taken the step of banning the four men in question from attending future games.
BBC Sport also reports that after the incident was brought to light, the club released the following statement: “Chelsea Football Club finds all forms of discriminatory behaviour abhorrent.”
The statement went on to say that the club would deal with evidence of racist abuse with “severe sanctions, including bans” and they have delivered on that promise on Monday afternoon.
The clash between two of England’s top sides at the weekend should have been all about the players on the pitch and their sublime talent, but it was completely overshadowed by the actions of a select few, which unfortunately goes to show that racism is still rife in modern football.
Sterling reacted by saying he “had to laugh” after hearing the abuse, before stating that he expects “no better” which is a sad indictment of the lack of progress made in English football and indeed across Europe when it comes to this issue.
As per BBC Sport, Manchester City also issued a statement after hearing that Chelsea had punished those responsible, which read: “The club and Raheem are fully engaged with Chelsea FC and the investigating authorities as they continue to examine the events in question.
“Manchester City and Raheem are committed to working with all relevant parties and organisations to support the objective of eradicating racism from the game.”
It is refreshing to see that the guilty parties are being brought to account for their actions, but no footballer should ever be subjected to such vile abuse and more must be done in future to prevent these incidents from occurring.