'Adding fuel to fire' - Raheem Sterling says media coverage fuels racism

Sterling received heavy criticism for his performances at Euro 2016, in a tournament that ended in the embarrassment of defeat to minnows Iceland and manager Roy Hodgson losing his job.

Raheem Sterling has blamed media coverage of young black footballers for fuelling racism in the United Kingdom, a day after he was verbally abused during a Premier League match.

A statement read: 'Chelsea Football Club has suspended four people from attending Chelsea matches pending further investigations into allegations regarding the behaviour of supporters towards Raheem Sterling during our match against Manchester City on Saturday.

Before last summer's World Cup he was attacked for having a tattoo of an assault rifle on his leg, a tattoo that Sterling said was a tribute to his father who was murdered when the footballer was just two. "He was getting absolutely battered going into that tournament, getting so much stick".

"We strongly condemn all forms of discrimination and encourage all fans and participants who believe that they have been the subject of, or witness to, discriminatory abuse to report it through the appropriate channels: The FA, our County FAs or our partners Kick It Out". It then continued on into the tournament and into stadiums to a point where there were groans and little boos.

"And it takes a lot for a player to come and see a coach".

"He accepted he'd be criticised as a player but felt it was so vicious he didn't know what to do about it".

"They have been together for more than three years, they play really, really well and have great players, so we were set to suffer".

"I think it's possible that newspapers like the Mail and The Sun will change their ways at some point", Daniel Harris stated. I think we had some hard moments in the game, but we were able to suffer together, to make the effort together.

"I like it, because I played it previous year also, so I know what to do, but the feeling is a bit unusual because you don't touch the ball a lot", Hazard added. Raheem was having a hard time and it was because of other, more personal reasons.

So England worldwide Raheem Sterling was given the role of finishing, with Riyad Mahrez and Leroy Sane operating on either flanks.

And Neville described the abuse aimed at Sterling in the media as some of the worst he's ever seen.

"I've lived closely, with David Beckham, with Wayne Rooney, played in Euro 96 with Paul Gascoigne". I think it's a very good option.

"We just want to win games and now this one has finished, we can enjoy the win, but we need to be focused for the game on Thursday [against Vidi in the Europa League] and next week at Brighton". I put them out there. "To perform the way he has done is a miracle nearly".

  • Steve Townsend