Di Matteo says Chelsea will back new anti-racism plan

Roberto Di Matteo has confirmed Chelsea will support the Professional Footballers’ Association’s new six-point plan to tackle racism, including the provision that enables clubs to terminate the contracts of players found guilty of racist abuse, despite Chelsea choosing not to take that course of action with John Terry, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Terry was found by the independent panel set up by the Football Association to have directed racist language towards Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during a match at Loftus Road in October 2011, and, after being acquitted of a racially aggravated public order offence in court, was banned for four games and fined £220,000 for the contravention of FA rules.

The Chelsea captain was later subject to internal disciplinary measures which Chelsea refused to publically reveal but the Telegraph claim saw the centre-back only fined, rather than be stripped of the captaincy or something more severe. The newspaper adds that the controversy over what some saw as Terry’s lenient punishment led to a split in the anti-racism movement, with some leading black players refusing to endorse the Kick It Out campaign last week.

A six-point plan outlining the PFA’s stance on racist abuse by its members and the allowable punishments was revealed this week, with Di Matteo pledging Chelsea would conform to the charter if it receives the backing of a majority of clubs. He said: “If the majority believe that we need a law like that then, as I said, we will obey it and support it. If it will become a rule, we will play by the rules, as we have always done. As a club, we are against any kind of discrimination and, if it does go through then we will support it.

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