Chelsea to act over chants
Chelsea will take strong action against anyone caught chanting against Anton Ferdinand during their FA Cup clash at QPR.
Last Updated: 25/01/12 10:46am
Chelsea have promised to take strong action against anyone caught chanting "Anton Ferdinand, you know what you are" during their FA Cup clash at QPR.
The Blues will ban such supporters from Stamford Bridge, even if they avoid arrest or ejection for singing the song at Loftus Road on Saturday.
Although extra police officers have been laid on for the west London derby, they have not been issued with any specific guidance on whether action should be taken over the abusive chant.
QPR could instruct their stewards to eject fans caught singing the song but they declined to comment yesterday on whether they planned to do so.
Hammersmith and Fulham police insisted anyone found breaking the law would be arrested but were uncertain whether the Ferdinand chant could be considered a breach of Sections 4 and 5 of the Public Order Act or Section 3 of the 1991 Football Offences Act, which deal with racially-aggravated offences.
The song about Ferdinand emerged in response to allegations Chelsea captain John Terry had used a racist slur against the Rangers defender during the October 23 Barclays Premier League game between the sides, something for which he was subsequently charged.
The two players are set to meet for the first time since then on Saturday, four days before Terry appears in court.
Just over a week after the duo's altercation, Chelsea fans were clearly heard to chant "Anton Ferdinand, you know what you are" during the club's UEFA Champions League game at Genk.
The abuse, which appears to have racial undertones, was immediately condemned by the Blues, who vowed to do everything possible to identify those responsible and act against them.
The club - who have yet to announce whether their Genk investigation has concluded - made a similar pledge after a small group of fans allegedly sung racist songs about Ferdinand on the train home from Saturday's game at Norwich.
A man was arrested on Sunday following a complaint from a member of the public, while police continued to look for other people involved in the alleged incident.
Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has appealed for calm ahead of the game.
"Regarding the fans, it is our responsibility as a club to calm the situation around the game and also to put on a message for the media as you can do excellent work in calming things down and everyone can have an impact for just another game of football," said the Chelsea boss, who has no intention of
leaving Terry out of the game.
His counterpart Mark Hughes admitted they will check on Ferdinand ahead of the match.
"It would be silly (for me) not to talk to him. I'll do it only to get it clear in my own mind where everybody is with it," he said.
"He's not come to me and said 'Gaffer, I need to speak to you about this situation' so I don't think it's affected him at all to be perfectly honest."