MOL Vidi FC(N) vs Chelsea FC - Sarri condemns ‘disgusting’ abuse aimed at Sterling

Posted Thursday, December 13, 2018 by PA

MOL Vidi FC(N) vs Chelsea FC - Sarri condemns ‘disgusting’ abuse aimed at Sterling

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri has condemned the alleged racist abuse of Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling at Stamford Bridge as “disgusting”.

Chelsea and the Metropolitan Police launched investigations into alleged racist abuse from a section of home supporters towards Sterling in last Saturday’s 2-0 win for the Blues. Chelsea subsequently suspended four people in connection with the incident.

MOL Vidi FC(N) vs Chelsea FC - Sarri condemns ‘disgusting’ abuse aimed at Sterling

“It was disgusting,” said Sarri, speaking at a media conference in Budapest ahead of Thursday’s Europa League match with Vidi, in his first public pronouncements on the issue.

“I condemn any form of discrimination.”

Chelsea player Ruben Loftus-Cheek says he would have reacted in the same way as England team-mate Sterling had he been subjected to racist abuse.

Sterling on Sunday accused newspapers of helping to “fuel racism” with the way in which they portray young black footballers.

Loftus-Cheek said: “I think he was right to say what he said. I don’t think it should be in the game or anywhere.

“Him speaking out was the right thing. If it happened to me I would do the same.

“I haven’t spoken to Raheem about it. I prefer to leave him and let him deal with it mentally himself. He’s a strong-minded person, so I think he’ll be all right.”

The incident overshadowed Chelsea responding from two losses in three Premier League games by beating City, and Sarri was keen to turn his attentions to football.

Chelsea play Vidi seeking a sixth win from six Europa League matches.

The Blues have already qualified for the last 32 top of Group L and Sarri has rested a host of first-choice players.

Kepa Arrizabalaga, Antonio Rudiger, Eden Hazard, Cesar Azpilicueta and N’Golo Kante are rested and have not travelled, while Mateo Kovacic, Gary Cahill and Victor Moses are injured.

Jamie Cumming, 19, and George McEachran, 18, are part of the squad, with Sarri likely to rotate his options and give opportunities to Ethan Ampadu and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

On Ampadu, poised to play in defence, and Hudson-Odoi, who could start as a wide front man, Sarri said: “The future for both is a very important future.

“Of course they have to improve every day in every way, physically and tactically. Technically they are very good.”

Vidi manager Marko Nikolic acknowledges their Europa League fate is out of their hands.

Vidi have twice beaten Greece’s PAOK, but two losses to BATE Borisov means if they finish level on points with the Belarus side they will be eliminated.

They therefore need to achieve a better result than BATE in Greece to advance, and Nikolic said: “I feel that a point on Thursday would be something great.

“I am sure that the players will go out on to the pitch with special motivation tomorrow.

“It will also be a full house. Their so-called ‘B team’ would be champions in several leagues around the world.

“I cannot guarantee the result tomorrow, but I have no doubt that we will all give our maximum against Chelsea.”

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