• Players subjected to monkey taunts as they arrived in Naples
• Napoli issue plea to own fans before Champions League tie
Chelsea have warned Napoli they will complain to Uefa should their players suffer racist abuse in Tuesday evening's Champions League first leg at Stadio San Paolo after members of the squad were subjected to monkey chants on arriving at the team hotel. A crowd of local fans had congregated outside the Grande Albergo Vesuvio hotel on the seafront and, while the Premier League side were all greeted with loud jeers, there were monkey chants from some present when the England striker Daniel Sturridge got off the coach. The chants began again when Chelsea players were spotted at windows on the first floor of the hotel while eating their lunch ahead of the team's evening training session at the stadium.
Chelsea officials were made aware of the abuse and issued a statement warning their opponents that, should the issue rear up again on Tuesday evening, they would take it up with Uefa. "Chelsea Football Club finds any form of discriminatory behaviour totally abhorrent and we believe it has no place in society whatsoever," said a spokesman. "If any members of our team or staff are subjected to racist abuse we would find that wholly unacceptable and it would be reflected in our conversations with Uefa." Napoli had issued their own plea to their supporters to behave over the weekend amid fears that Uefa might issue sanctions if there is crowd trouble. Their concerns had centred primarily upon the use of fire crackers and flares, while the top tier of the stadium, Fuorigrotta, is technically closed to the public for safety reasons, though supporters have apparently found ways of occupying the tier at fixtures.
"SSC Napoli invites its supporters to respect the rules of safety, in line with Uefa rules," read the statement. "If these laws are violated, the field would be disqualified, impairing the possibility of playing any other international matches at Fuorigrotta. Napoli invites its supporters not to use flares or fireworks, not to occupy the stairs and any other escape ways, not to occupy the third tier, which is closed to the public."