Maurizio Sarri calls alleged racist abuse of Raheem Sterling ‘disgusting’

first_img Read more Chelsea Topics Pinterest Share on Messenger Ainsley Maitland-Niles has said he received racial abuse from the crowd during youth matches. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images Raheem Sterling Race news Share on WhatsApp Share via Email Maurizio Sarri has condemned discrimination in any form in the Chelsea coach’s first public comments since the alleged racist abuse of Raheem Sterling at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.Chelsea and the Metropolitan police launched investigations into alleged racist abuse from a section of home supporters towards the Manchester City forward in last Saturday’s 2-0 win for Sarri’s side. Chelsea subsequently suspended four people in connection with the incident.Sarri said: “First of all I want to say that I condemn any form of discrimination, of course. I think that I have to stop here. Because there is an investigation so I think it’s better not to say something more. Of course my opinion is that I condemn every sort of discrimination.” Share on LinkedIn Share on Pinterest Sarri and the club preferred to move on and focus on tonight’s match with Vidi in Budapest, after a fourth question on the subject.The Italian added: “It was disgusting. You know very well my opinion, the opinion of the club, but now we have to go on.”Sarri’s comments came on the day Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles described Sterling as “brave” and said he suffered racial abuse himself as a 12-year-old player.As he previewed Arsenal’s Europa League dead rubber against Qarabag, the 21-year-old Maitland-Niles, when asked whether he had been on the receiving end of racist abuse, replied: “Yes, I have. Not at a professional level but growing up in the youth ranks.“I think it’s disgusting, honestly. I really do credit Raheem for coming out and standing up for himself and other players and speaking about it.“But I just think that, if a lot of football clubs and some of the players too can join forces to really put our heads to it and try to kick it out, it would be the best thing possible.“I hope so. I really do hope so,” Maitland-Niles continued when asked if Sterling making a public statement could be a defining moment in eradicating racism.“Raheem is a good, brave lad for doing it and I just hope that more people put their ear towards him and have some sympathy for him, because it’s not the first time it’s happened and we just want it to be the last.” Chelsea fan ‘denies racially abusing Raheem Sterling’ Share on Twitter Share on Facebook An England Under-21 international, Maitland-Niles went on to explain the circumstances surrounding his own alleged encounter with racism during his time in Arsenal’s academy.“It was pretty much similar to what Raheem got to be honest,” he said. “I literally went out to pick up the ball for a throw-in and there was a bit of racial abuse behind me.“What can I do? I just got on with the game, as he did. It hurts. It hurts me to talk about it.“It hurts to think about it. But I think that’s why it’s so important that we need to get rid of it from the game. It’s not just footballers who need to be on board with it. It’s everyone else: the press, the media and the staff as well.“To me, responding to it is scoring a goal to put their team down. I only thought they were doing it because I was having a good game.“I guess that’s one way of them sort of trying to knock me off my game and make me feel uncomfortable about myself. But to be honest, I just try and play my football and not really say much about anything.”Maitland-Niles revealed he informed the relevant football authorities of the incident at the time but that “nothing was done about it” and it was his father who offered support. Facebook Maurizio Sarri Twitter Reuse this contentlast_img read more