Cup rivals urge calm


Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers have released a joint statement ahead of their FA Cup fourth round meeting at Loftus Road this weekend.

The clash is the first between the two since John Terry was charged by police for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand in October.

Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas has recently appealed to supporters asking them to refrain from repeating chants concerning Ferdinand, which occurred during the club's Champions League trip to Genk.

"Regarding the fans, it is our responsibility as a club to calm the situation around the game and also to put on a message for the media as you can do excellent work in calming things down and everyone can have an impact for just another game of football," he said.

The joint statement read: 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 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.

"We would urge fans witnessing any form of abuse to report it to a matchday steward or text confidentially on 07557 435421.

"Let's make Saturday's match a celebration of football.

"A local derby is always a special occasion and this weekend's FA Cup tie is a unique opportunity to show the world that hatred has no place in our game, our clubs, or our communities."

The first day of Terry's hearing, for a racially aggravated public order offence, which he denies, takes place on February 1st, just four days after the match with QPR.

All eyes with be on the pair prior to the game, following reports that Ferdinand is set to snub Terry when the two teams shake hands before kick-off.

The Mirror reported earlier this week that the former West Ham United centre-back would refuse to acknowledge the England captain this Saturday, in similar fashion to how Wayne Bridge snubbed Terry in 2010 following headlines surrounding an alleged affair his ex-partner.

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