Chelsea suspend four fans for alleged racist abuse towards Sterling

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The Manchester City winger was targeted by supporters at Stamford Bridge on Saturday and the Blues have taken action against those involved

Chelsea have suspended four supporters from attending matches for alleged racist abuse directed at Raheem Sterling during Saturday's game against Manchester City.

Television footage that went viral on social media showed spectators shouting at Sterling as he went to collect the ball from the byline during the Premier League encounter at Stamford Bridge, prompting investigations from the Blues, the Football Association and the Metropolitan police .

And Chelsea confirmed on Monday that some of those responsible have been identified and banned from attending future games, promising "severe sanctions" for racist behaviour among fans.

"Chelsea Football Club has suspended four people from attending Chelsea matches pending further investigations into allegations regarding the behaviour of supporters towards Raheem Sterling during our match against Manchester City on Saturday," a statement on their website read.

"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.

"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 addressed the abuse on Sunday, saying "I just had to laugh because I don't expect no better", and  calling out the English media for their treatment of black players .

"For all the newspapers that don't understand why people are racist in this day and age all I have to say is have a second thought about fair publicity and give all players an equal chance," he wrote at the end of an Instagram post.

Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp praised the City star for his reaction and called for the culprits to be punished, adding that the culprits deserve punishment but no attention.

“They don’t deserve any reaction, they don’t deserve any respect. I am obviously not surprised that these things still happen and they will not stop only because we talk about them, but I like the fact that we put the finger on it and say 'you cannot say what you want'," he said .

“There need to be punishments for things like this. As long as people are silly enough to do this, they need to be punished for it, that’s how it is."

Ex-England star John Barnes also weighed in on the situation , saying society must tackle the "disease" of racism instead of the symptoms.

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