Ster­ling racist abuse claims spark probe

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Premier League - By Sam Wal­lace

Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing an al­le­ga­tion that Ra­heem Ster­ling was racially abused by a Chelsea fan dur­ing the vic­tory over cham­pi­ons Manch­ester City at Stam­ford Bridge.

There were com­plaints on so­cial me­dia that Ster­ling was tar­geted by a sup­porter in the Matthew Hard­ing Stand, al­though there was no sug­ges­tion from the club that the footage proved the case ei­ther way.

Ster­ling was the sub­ject of a chant in the first half that he “runs like a girl”. The al­leged in­ci­dent in ques­tion oc­curred to­wards the end of the first half.

A spokesman for the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice said: “We are aware of a video cir­cu­lat­ing on­line in which it is claimed racial abuse was al­legedly di­rected at a player at a Chelsea vs Manch­ester City game at Stam­ford Bridge on Satur­day Dec 8. We will re­view the footage to de­ter­mine whether any of­fences have been committed.” No ar­rests were made at the sta­dium.

Chelsea are also in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent. A spokesman said: “We’re aware of re­ports and video footage. We will in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter and take the strong­est pos­si­ble ac­tion where nec­es­sary.” The club could po­ten­tially is­sue a life­time ban if the per­son in ques­tion is a sea­son ticket-holder.

It was said in ev­i­dence dur­ing John Terry’s 2012 trial at West­min­ster mag­is­trates’ court that for a racially ag­gra­vated of­fence there is a “high de­gree of in­ac­cu­racy” in lip-read­ing, for which there is no pro­fes­sional qual­i­fi­ca­tion. Terry was cleared of racially abus­ing An­ton Fer­di­nand dur­ing a game against Queens Park Rangers.

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