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Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Fernandinho: Racism must be punished

Miguel Delaney

Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fernandinho has added an edge to his team's Champions League clash with Chelsea by claiming he "would go wild" if involved in an incident like that between Anton Ferdinand and John Terry.

•  Terry is still our "leader"

Although found not guilty in court of a racially aggravated public order offence from the match at Loftus Road in October 2010, the Chelsea defender recently received a four-match ban and a 220,000 fine from the FA.

He is cleared, however, to play in the Champions League and has attracted further scrutiny by retaining the Chelsea captaincy at a time when the club also refused to reveal how they had reprimanded Terry.

The entire issue has left Fernandinho unimpressed. "I think this issue of racism in football is one of the most unpleasant things in our time," the 27-year-old midfielder said.

"I'm happy to say that I've never suffered such an act, in my time playing in Ukraine or playing in Brazil, but if someone is ever racist towards me, I really couldn't predict how I would react. In my opinion, if someone commits such a crime, then it should be very severely punished."

It wasn't the only manner in which the midfielder was strident. Fernandinho is also fully confident his side can claim six points off the European champions.

"Our team's spirit is great and this season we are the strongest ever Shakhtar side - and it shows by our results. The atmosphere has been great before the Chelsea game. We know we will have a very hard game, we will be playing against the Champions League winners.

"I think we will defeat Chelsea in both games, but for now we are fully concentrated on the first game at the Donbass Arena. Of course, beating Chelsea at home will give us a better opportunity to qualify for the last 16.

"We all believe this year we will reach the final and win the Champions League - and beating the defending champions will show everyone how far we have come."

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