Found January 25, 2012 on
The specter of two recent racist incidents will hang over the FA Cup this weekend, with tensions high as the clubs involved prepare to play each other again.
Manchester United will travel to Anfield on Saturday for the first time since defender Patrice Evra was repeatedly racially abused by Liverpool striker Luis Suarez in a league match in October. Chelsea captain John Terry is set to play at Queens Park Rangers days before appearing in court, charged with racially abusing Anton Ferdinand in the last meeting of the west London clubs in October.
Fears about any lingering animosity between the players or rival fans boiling over in the weekend matches have prompted statements appealing for calm from the four clubs and a strong police warning about abusive behavior.
Chelsea and QPR tried to quell any tensions by issuing a statement describing Saturday's fourth-round match as ''a unique opportunity to show the world that hatred has no place in our game.''
The comments from Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck and QPR counterpart Tony Fernandes came after talks between the clubs.
''Abuse and discrimination has no place in football or society,'' Buck and Fernandes said in the statement. ''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.''
The spotlight will be on Ferdinand and Terry before the match to see if they shake hands, as is customary.
While racial abuse between players was the problem in the October matches, alleged taunts at Anfield was the issue in the third round of the FA Cup earlier this month.
With Liverpool still reeling from Suarez's eight-match ban for the verbal confrontation with Evra, its fans were accused of racially abusing an Oldham player at Anfield.
And police in Liverpool said Wednesday that a ''firm, fair and friendly'' approach will be adopted for Saturday's visit of United.
Many meetings between the northwest rivals have been fraught with drama, but United manager Alex Ferguson has written to his club's fans to ensure they do not step over the mark with their behavior at Anfield.
''Your support is vital to the team and down the years that has been especially true at Anfield,'' Ferguson wrote. ''But please put the emphasis on getting us into the next round and giving the sort of support you are famous for - positive, witty and loud.''
Police warned that all allegations of offensive conduct will be thoroughly investigated.
''We cannot allow this type of behavior to affect the enjoyment of genuine fans, especially families with young children who attend the game,'' match commander chief superintendent Jon Ward said in a statement. ''We will continue with our efforts to deal with the small number of individuals who commit offenses at football matches, in particular with the continued use of football-banning orders.''
The racism cases prompted a British parliamentary committee to launch an investigation into whether enough is being done to combat the problem in football, with a hearing due to take place in March that could hear evidence from the accused and victims.
On Wednesday morning, nine men were arrested by police investigating suspected racist chanting by supporters of Charlton Athletic on a train back from their FA Cup match at London rival Fulham on Jan. 7.
''These recent arrests are saddening to all those who have worked so hard over many decades,'' Charlton chief executive Stephen Kavanagh said.
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The sides meet this weekend for the first time since the spat between Luis Suarez and United left-back Patrice Evra, for which the Liverpool striker was banned for eight matches after being found guilty of racist comments.
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United's FA Cup fourth-round tie with Liverpool will be the first time they have faced their old rivals since Evra levelled racism allegations at Luis Suarez that ended with the Uruguay forward landing an eight-match ban.
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The match will be the first time Blues captain John Terry and Hoops defender Anton Ferdinand have faced each other since the Blues' 1-0 defeat in October.
Terry has been charged with racially abusing Ferdinand during the game and will appear in court on February 1. He has denied the charge.
Bruce Buck, chairman of Chelsea, and Tony Fernandes, his QPR counterpart, released a...
Chelsea and QPR have warned their supporters that "abuse and discrimination has no place in football or society" ahead of their FA Cup clash on Saturday.
The game will be the first time Chelsea captain John Terry and QPR defender Anton Ferdinand have faced each other since the Blues' 1-0 defeat in October.
Terry has been charged with racially abusing Ferdinand during...
This weekend sees the fourth round of the FA Cup being contested, and as it so often does the competition has provided us with a game that has background and controversy in good measure as Chelsea take on Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road on Saturday afternoon.
The last time the two teams met in November Blues captain John Terry was accused by Anton Ferdinand of racially abusing...
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British captain Terry is charged with racism and Tottenham Hotspur manager Redknapp is in a tax-evasion trial.
London rivals Queen's Park
Rangers and Chelsea have warned fans to behave at this weekend's
FA Cup tie when England captain John Terry will come face to
face with Anton Ferdinand, the player he is accused of racially
abusing in a league match this season.