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Rijkaard wants fans to cheer Chelsea
March 07, 2006 12:58 IST
Coach Frank Rijkaard wants Barcelona fans to end hostilities with Chelsea and show sportsmanship and fair play towards the English club in Tuesday's Champions League match at the Nou Camp.
"I saw television pictures of their team arriving and there were a lot of insults and I felt very bad about what happened," the Dutchman told a news conference on Monday.
"Whenever a player from my team has been insulted we have all felt concerned about it.
"I think that we now have a fantastic opportunity for us to show we have respect for Chelsea and we should applaud them when they step on to the pitch."
Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho had to run the gauntlet of insults and abusive chanting when he arrived at Barcelona airport and was spat at when he was on the bus before departing for the team hotel.
"Mourinho has achieved a great deal in his career, he is one of the best coaches in the world and he has a past with Barcelona," said Rijkaard. "I want our fans to cheer him because he is a great coach."
Rijkaard compared the events to the recent incident when Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o threatened to leave the pitch in a league match against Real Zaragoza because of racial abuse.
"Recently a Barca player was insulted by opposition fans and we were all very concerned about it and asked for him to be respected.
"It is not a nice situation and I think the time has come to stand against this sort of behaviour and show some humanity.
"I truly hope we put the aggression to one side and that we see a wonderful game of football."
On the sporting front Rijkaard said that there is no danger of his team taking anything for granted despite their 2-1 advantage after the first leg at Stamford Bridge.
"We have an advantage but each game is a different story and we have to prepare ourselves to play a great match tomorrow if we want to get through to the next round," he said.
UEFA Champions League 2005-06: The Complete Coverage