Reading Players Recieve Death Threats


16th, November 2006



Police are investigating death threats which have been made to the Reading players who were involved in the two incidents that saw Chelsea keepers Petr Cech and Carlo Cudicini badly injured. In the aftermath of the incidents,
Ibrahima Sonko and Stephen Hunt have received numerous threatening letters at the club’s Arborfield training ground.

Thames Valley Police told BBC Sport: "The club is helping us with inquiries and the matter is being investigated."
A Chelsea spokesman added: "There is nothing to suggest these threats came from genuine Chelsea fans." According to the Reading Chronicle newspaper, one letter said: "We are going to kill you for what you did to our players."

Initially, the Reading players treated the first letter as a joke which saw them pinning it up on the door of the training ground dressing-room for a laugh, however, when subsequent letters arrived, players were told to treat the threats seriously and the club called in the police to investigate.
Cech is not expected to play again this season after sustaining a fractured skull in his collision with Hunt in the game at the Madejski stadium in October.
Carlo Cudicini needed oxygen after being stretchered off in a last-minute collision with Sonko, and only recently returned to the pitch.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho hit out at Hunt’s challenge, but neither Hunt nor Sonko faced any action from the FA. Hunt, on international duty with the Republic of Ireland, said: "The club is dealing with all my letters and I don’t want to say any more."
Sonko confirmed he had received a letter but made no further comment.
Chelsea’s spokesman added: "Naturally, we condemn any threats of this nature and we will assist the police fully if – and we stress if – there is any evidence linking theses threats to any of our supporters. We passed the mail onto the police, but no extra security precautions were taken, the players weren’t affected and it’s not an issue."

Reading gaffer Steve Coppell played down the death threats.
"We wanted to keep it quiet, and didn’t make an issue of it. We went through the proper channels and hoped it would die a death. To regurgitate it now is of no benefit to anybody. I don’t think it’s for public consumption. It’s something different for the media to report but it serves no purpose to anybody else."[Mof Gimmers]