The police have advised QPR defender Anton Ferdinand to switch his telephone number because of the sheer volume of abuse and threats directed at him.
Ferdinand, the brother of Manchester United defender Rio, has been shocked that people have obtained his private mobile number and at the level of abuse he has received. It follows the allegations that John Terry made racist comments towards him, which has seen the Chelsea captain investigated by the FA and the police.
An ESPNsoccernet source said: "We all know how some Chelsea fans pursued the Swedish referee [Anders Frisk; after the Champions League defeat to Barcelona in 2005] a few years back and made threats, until they put him out of business. There have been some very serious and nasty threats being made, many of them.
"Anton has been advised by the police to change his telephone number. It is amazing that the bigotry still remains in this country, and which manifests itself in football.
"There is great pressure in our society at present and nastiness and although there is a campaign of anti racism within football, when people leave the ground, that bigotry still exists.
"Black players are reluctant to speak out, they are fearful of the consequences. Anton didn't even lodge a complaint because he didn't actually hear the remarks from John Terry, yet he is subjected to such outrageous hatred and abuse."
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