Stoke have apologised to Blackpool's Jason Euell and confirmed they will ''impose the toughest possible sanctions'' on a supporter accused of racial abuse at Tuesday's Carling Cup tie between the teams.
Club officials have expressed dismay that Euell was the victim of a touchline incident which led to a supporter being led away by stewards and then detained by Staffordshire Police.
The supporter has since been bailed until the middle of next month while police continue their investigations into the accusation of racial abuse. But under their ground regulations, City have it within their power to impose a ban of an indefinite length on the supporter if they feel it is appropriate.
City's Chief Executive Tony Scholes confirmed that the supporter would be banned in the meantime while the police decide upon their course of action.
But he said: "We will take a hard line because we do not tolerate racist or abusive language of this type. We must first wait though for the outcome of the Police investigation into this incident before imposing our sanctions upon this person.
"The Britannia Stadium is a family environment and it is staggering that in this day and age, people may be subjected to this kind of language.
"On behalf of Stoke City Football Club, I would like to apologise to Jason Euell, and indeed Blackpool Football Club, for the behaviour of this supporter."