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By Jeremy Wilson

Manchester United yesterday included statements from captain Gary Neville and coach Mike Phelan in evidence to the Football Association that accuses a member of Chelsea's staff of racially abusing Patrice Evra.

helsea are privately outraged by the allegation and intend to vigorously defend the actions of their staff, but it is now likely that the FA will wait until after the Champions League final before scheduling any formal hearing between the clubs. United are understood to be alleging that Evra was called a "******* immigrant", while Chelsea will say that those words must have been misheard. It is suggested that the word "idiot" was used.

Chelsea are also likely to make their own complaints about United's players. Rio Ferdinand was forced to apologise after he accidentally kicked a female Chelsea steward and, although the matter did not go any further, his behaviour is expected to be highlighted.

The FA have received both sets of evidence as the two clubs prepare for Sunday's Premier League finale and then their showdown at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium in the Champions League final on May 21.

As well as the on-pitch rivalry, the argument over the melee that followed Chelsea's 2-1 Premier League victory at Stamford Bridge has significantly strained relations between the two clubs.

The incident involved more than 20 people and followed a row over the direction in which Manchester United players were running during their warm-down.

Groundstaff had asked them to run in line with their mowers and the incident erupted after words were exchanged. It is alleged that Evra threw a punch, while photographs also show Chelsea groundsman Sam Bethell with his arm raised.

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon spoke with his opposite number David Gill the day after the incident following rumours that a racist allegation might be made, but the two clubs were subsequently unable to agree a joint statement.

It is understood that Evra was not aware of any racist remark, meaning United must explain how the France defender got involved.

The clubs have used legal experts to carefully put together their case, though coming to any firm judgment is likely to be difficult for the FA, who will be relying on contradictory statements and CCTV footage.

The alleged racist element has caused a significant amount of sensitivity about the case, leaving the FA obliged to investigate it as vigorously as possible.

- Chelsea, a mall club, with no history, no class, but loads of money. The "nouveau riche" are truly disgusting. Chelsea are the Brittney Spears of football.
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