Villas-Boas backs Terry over racism claim

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas said the club fully backed captain John Terry who has strenuously denied racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during their Premier League match at Loftus Road on Sunday.

Terry issued a statement on Sunday saying the incident during the West London derby, which QPR won 1-0, was the result of a misunderstanding.

However, he was waiting to hear if Ferdinand, the younger brother of his longtime England colleague Rio, would be making a formal complaint against him.

"John is a player who represents this country to the highest level internationally. He is a player of great responsibilities. He said to me the incident was a big misunderstanding," Villas-Boas told a news conference on Tuesday.

"That's why he put his statement out straight away.

"I find it strange when people don't trust the words of a representative from your country."

Terry, who says he has known Ferdinand for many years, added that the two had a chat after the game, but the incident was publicised by footage shown on the internet and by an anonymous complaint made to the police who have confirmed they are looking into the matter.

The English FA said on Tuesday they had not been formally informed of the incident and had no other comment to make.

Terry told the Daily Mail newspaper on Tuesday: "Anton and I spoke for 10 minutes in the dressing room after the game and there is no issue between us, it's finished."

Around 10 players were in the dressing room to hear their discussion, the Mail reported, and it ended with the two men high-fiving and embracing, the paper claimed.

Villas-Boas agreed that was the case when he said: "Anton was present in our dressing room. For us, it was the end of the story and it still is.

"It's just a misunderstanding and something blown out of all proportion. People who represent this country should have better and fuller support."

A police spokesman said in a statement: "We can confirm that police have been notified of an incident on Sunday 23 October involving alleged racial abuse.

"This is currently being assessed by officers from Hammersmith and Fulham."

The case is the second involving alleged racial abuse between players in England in the last two weeks.

The first was when Frenchman Patrice Evra of Manchester United accused Liverpool's Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez of racially abusing him when the teams met at Anfield on October 15.

Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas also strenuously denied any racial abuse in Spain this weekend after claims that he insulted Frederic Kanoute during Barca's goalless draw with Seville.