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Liverpool, Chelsea slammed for condoning racism

SoccerNews in UEFA Europa League 27 Dec 2011

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Liverpool and Chelsea have come under fire for appearing to excuse the alleged racism of Luis Suarez and John Terry.

The Society of Black Lawyers (SBL) have condemned both clubs for failing to conduct internal investigations into incidents involving Uruguay international Suarez and England captain Terry.

Chelsea released a statement expressing its utmost support for John Terry after he was charged with a racially aggravated public order offense in connection with the alleged remarks aimed at QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

Liverpool has also jumped to the defense of its Uruguayan striker who was given an eight-match ban and 40,000 pounds fine by the FA after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.

But SBL co-chair Peter Herbert said: “To our knowledge, neither club has bothered to conduct its own independent investigation or hold a disciplinary hearing.”

“If such serious allegations of racism had been made in the workplace, any reasonable employer would consider itself to be under a strict duty to conduct a full, detailed and impartial investigation into the allegations, and not simply to state that they stand behind the denials of the player concerned.”

The organization wants the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to handle the Suarez case as a racist incident, as they have done with Terry, and believe there should be no difference in the treatment of both players.

The SBL is planning to make a formal complaint to the CPS about the racist and offensive language used by Suarez, and are hoping to convince the CPS to launch a full investigation.

The organization is also hoping the CPS will prosecute the former Ajax man if the result of the investigation gives a reasonable chance of conviction according to the public interest test.

“The punitive effects of racism are felt by thousands of people in Britain each day. The response of the Football Association (FA) and the CPS must be robust to protect others from the humiliation, pain and suffering that this type of hate crime inflicts,” Herbert said.

“There is no reason why Suarez should not face criminal charges. When individual football clubs and fellow players – both black and white – endorse this kind of behaviour, they themselves become part of the problem because they stand in the way of the total eradication of racism from the sport.”

“Their denial and appeasement reflects an abdication of their role as responsible players or employers.”

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