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Dublin: 8°C Saturday 15 May 2021
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Clubs call for 'celebration of football' as Terry and Ferdinand prepare to meet

The chairmen of Chelsea and QPR issued a joint statement today ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round tie between the clubs.

Image: Nick Potts/PA Wire/Press Association Images

CHELSEA AND Queens Park Rangers have issued a joint statement encouraging supporters to focus on football rather than the John Terry-Anton Ferdinand race row when the sides meet this weekend.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck and QPR chairman Tony Fernandes appealed to fans today to turn Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round derby into a “celebration of football”, and urged them to report any abusive behaviour.

All eyes will be on west London when the local rivals go head-to-head, just four days before Terry’s court case for the alleged racial abuse of Ferdinand is due to open at West London Magistrates Court.

Terry strongly denies claims that he racially abused Ferdinand in an altercation between the pair during Chelsea’s Premier League visit to QPR on 23 October.

Both clubs and the FA are wary of the fact that some supporters could resort to inflammatory language and chants in an attempt to show their support for either Terry or Ferdinand. In their statement, Buck and Fernandes said that both clubs are committed to working with stewards and police to take “the strongest possible action” against any supporters engaging in such behaviour.

Saturday’s tie, they said, should be seen as “a unique opportunity to show the world that hatred has no place in our game, our clubs, or our communities.”

Terry is not expected to appear in court on Wednesday, when his case will be adjourned.

Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service found that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute Terry for “a racially aggravated public order offence” after a member of the public reported the Chelsea and England captain to police.

Full text of the joint statement by Bruce Buck and Tony Fernandes

We have discussed the issues surrounding this weekend’s FA Cup fourth-round tie at Loftus Road and we are both in total agreement that abuse and discrimination has no place in football or society.

Both clubs enjoy fantastic support. However, we would remind fans that while we want to hear their passion, it’s a fact that hatred and abuse is not what being a fan of Chelsea or QPR is about.

The clubs will work together with the police to ensure that anyone using discriminatory or inflammatory language is identified and that the strongest possible action is taken against them.

We would urge fans witnessing any form of abuse to report it to a matchday steward or text confidentially on 07557 435421.

Let’s make Saturday’s match a celebration of football.

A local derby is always a special occasion and this weekend’s FA Cup tie is a unique opportunity to show the world that hatred has no place in our game, our clubs, or our communities.

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Niall Kelly

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