‘I didn’t call him a black c***, I called him a Manc c***’: Chelsea fan defends Sterling abuse
A Chelsea supporter claims that insults he hurled at Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling during last weekend’s Premier League fixture between the two sides were not racist in nature.
Chelsea announced on Monday that four supporters had been issued an indefinite suspension from attending games pending investigations into alleged racist insults aimed at Manchester City players, including England international Raheem Sterling.
Sterling told police that he heard a racist statement directed at him from a section of fans as he went to take a throw-in. One fan understood to be involved, 60-year-old Colin Wing, says that he is ashamed of his behavior but denies the allegations of racism which resulted in him being fired from his job.
"I’m deeply ashamed by my own behavior and I feel really bad," he said to the Daily Mail.
"But I didn’t call him a black c***, I called him a Manc c***.
"I offer him an unreserved apology. Even if it wasn’t racist, it’s not right what I said. Even the swearing is bad – but I got carried away. I was completely out of order, but I’ve lost my job and my season ticket now so everybody’s got what they wanted. So why can’t they leave me alone?"
For their part, Chelsea have said that any of their supporters found to have been engaging in racist activity will face severe sanctions and that they would support any criminal prosecutions.
A statement issued by the London club reads as follows: “Chelsea Football Club has suspended four people from attending Chelsea matches pending further investigations into allegations regarding the behavior of supporters towards Raheem Sterling during our match against Manchester City.
"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.Also on rt.com ‘Newspapers helping fuel racism in football’: Sterling speaks out after alleged abuse at Chelsea
"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."
Sterling has previously hit out at the UK media for what he sees as fostering an image of young black athletes which, he says, “fuels racism”.
The Metropolitan Police are investigating the matter, while the Football Association have pledged to work with clubs to ensure that racism is fully stamped out of the English game.