Chelsea warns fans over racist language ahead of clash with QPR

Chelsea's John Terry (left) and Anton Ferdinand of Queens Park Rangers compete during an FA Cup tie in January 2012

Story highlights

  • West London rival's Chelsea and QPR playing for first time since John Terry was cleared of racial abuse
  • Chelsea captain found not guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand at trail in July
  • Premier League confirm that traditional handshakes before matches to go ahead as normal

Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers have warned their supporters over their behavior ahead of the Premier League match scheduled to take place at Loftus Road, west London on Saturday.

The match will see John Terry and QPR's Anton Ferdinand share a football pitch for the first time since the Chelsea captain was cleared of racially abusing Ferdinand at a high-profile trial in July.

Chelsea issued a statement on their official website warning fans that the "strongest possible action" will be taken against anyone using racist language.

"Both Chelsea and QPR will work together with the police to ensure that anyone using discriminatory or inflammatory language on Saturday is identified, and that the strongest possible action is taken against them," the Chelsea statement read.

"Last January's FA Cup match at QPR and the meeting between the sides in April at Stamford Bridge were good examples of passionate and vocal rivalry with the fans of both clubs recognizing that abuse and discrimination have no place in a football stadium, nor anywhere else in society," the statement continued.

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The warnings came ahead of an announcement on Friday by the Premier League confirming that all players will shake hands before kick-off as usual.

"There has been dialogue between the Premier League, Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea in relation to tomorrow's match between the two clubs," the Premier League said in a statement.

"All parties understand and acknowledge that the pre-match handshake will go ahead as part of the normal pre-match activity," the statement added.

Tension has been building ahead of Saturday's match after reports that Anton Ferdinand was planning to refuse to shake the hand of both Terry and his teammate Ashley Cole, who appeared as a character witness for Terry at his trial at Westminster Magistrates Court.

Terry remains the subject of a separate investigation by the English Football Association (FA) over the same incident which took place at a Premier League match between the two clubs in October 2011.

The FA hearing is expected to begin on September 24. Terry denies the charges.

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