Chelsea Suspend 4 Fans Amid Allegations of Racial Abuse Toward Raheem Sterling

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City arrives at the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on December 8, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Chelsea have suspended four fans from attending matches while an investigation into alleged racial abuse toward Manchester City star Raheem Sterling takes place.

Jane Dougall of Sky Sports reported the news Monday:

The Blues confirmed the reports and added an internal investigation is underway alongside the police investigation. If evidence of racial abuse is found, sanctions could include bans.

A club statement read:

"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."

Manchester City also issued a statement saying the club "welcomes" Chelsea's decision to suspend the fans, adding it will continue to work with the investigation into the alleged abuse, per Sky Sports News.

The Blues' 2-0 win was overshadowed by an incident involving Sterling and several fans who appeared to hurl racist abuse at the England international. Mirror Football shared this image of the aftermath of the incident:

Sterling took to social media after the match to address the problem, pointing the finger at the media for fueling this type of behaviour (h/t Henry Winter of the Times):

The alleged abuse occurred roughly a week after a fan threw a banana skin at Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after he scored a goal against rivals Tottenham Hotspur. That fan has been arrested and banned indefinitely, per Sky Sports.

Sterling's statement on social media ignited a debate and has been praised by many, including the Mirror's Darren Lewis and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (h/t James Pearce of the Echo):

Chelsea handed City their first loss of the Premier League campaign Saturday, with N'Golo Kante and David Luiz scoring in the 2-0 triumph.

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