WEST London rivals QPR and Chelsea have issued a joint warning to their fans reminding them of a zero tolerance stance towards discriminatory language ahead of Saturday’s hotly anticipated FA Cup fourth round clash at Loftus Road.
Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand is due to face Chelsea counterpart John Terry for the first time since the England skipper is alleged to have made racially abusive comments to him during the incident packed Premier League clash between the two sides last October.
Their likely encounter, which will come four days before Terry is due to appear at West London Magistrates Court where he will deny a racially aggravated public order offence, is likely to make for a combustible atmosphere and has prompted both clubs to call for calm.
The statement from Tony Fernandes, the QPR chairman, on behalf of him and his Chelsea counterpart Bruce Buck, said: “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 QPR or Chelsea 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.”
Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas last week insisted he would have no qualms about selecting Terry this weekend, while Rangers defender Danny Gabbidon confirmed Ferdinand is determined to feature.