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Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Fans claim Benitez should apologise

ESPN staff

Rafael Benitez must say sorry to Chelsea fans for comments he made while in charge of Liverpool, according to the chair of the club's supporters' group.

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Benitez was booed amid a fiery protest held during his first game in charge of the Blues against Manchester City on the weekend. The animosity was first created when former Reds boss Benitez claimed he would never take a job at Chelsea, and criticised the passion of the club's supporters as he attempted to disrupt his counterpart Jose Mourinho.

"I think (an apology) would help for some fans. Even an acceptance of what was said would be a start," supporters' group chairperson Trizia Fiorellino said.

"He said he was trying to defend his club at the time but [then Chelsea boss] Mourinho was the master of that and I don't think he ever directly ridiculed supporters of another club. It's quite a thing to try to undo but an acceptance could definitely bring some people back on board. I do think he's a tough sell, though."

Fiorellino fears the appointment of Benitez as interim replacement for the sacked Roberto Di Matteo is a stern message from Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

"They don't listen to the fans," she said. "I don't think Chelsea fans should be picking the manager or anything but it was pretty evident there were two people the supporters would not accept, and that was Avram Grant and Rafa Benitez.

"Some fans feel almost that it was a message to the fans to say, 'We pick who we want', almost spiteful."




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