Chelsea suspend four supporters following Raheem Sterling allegations
The incident occurred on Saturday afternoon
Chelsea have suspended four people from attending matches pending further investigations into an incident that occurred during Saturday's match against Manchester City.
During the Blues' victory at Stamford Bridge, Raheem Sterling was filmed being on the receiving end of verbal abuse from a small group of fans. The club and the FA are both investigating after claims that racist language was used.
Four Chelsea fans have now been suspended from attending both home and away matches with investigations into the the incident set to continue.
The day after the match, Sterling posted a statement on his Instagram account, highlighting the difference in coverage from the tabloid press regarding black footballers' and white footballers' private lives.
Sterling said that negative press coverage "helps fuel racism and aggressive behaviour" in society.
View this post on Instagram
Good morning I just want to say , I am not normally the person to talk a lot but when I think I need my point to heard I will speak up. Regarding what was said at the Chelsea game as you can see by my reaction I just had to laugh because I don’t expect no better. For example you have two young players starting out there careers both play for the same team, both have done the right thing. Which is buy a new house for there mothers who have put in a lot of time and love into helping them get where they are, but look how the news papers get there message across for the young black player and then for the young white payer. I think this in unacceptable both innocent have not done a thing wrong but just by the way it has been worded. This young black kid is looked at in a bad light. Which helps fuel racism an aggressive behaviour, so for all the news papers that don’t understand why people are racist in this day and age all i have to say is have a second thought about fair publicity an give all players an equal chance.
In a statement on their official website, Chelsea said: "Chelsea Football Club has suspended four people from attending Chelsea matches pending further investigations into allegations regarding the behaviour of supporters towards Raheem Sterling during our match against Manchester City on Saturday.
"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.
"Chelsea Football Club finds all forms of discriminatory behaviour abhorrent and 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."
Rio Ferdinand was one of many prominent public figures to highlight the incident on social media, saying: "Are we going to continue to allow this type of racist behaviour go on??? All for kicking a ball!"
The former Manchester United player suggested that Premier League players should follow their NFL counterparts and stage a protest against racism in the game, after Colin Kaepernick kickstarted a movement of players taking a knee during the national anthem.