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UEFA aware of racist taunts at Euro 2012

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 8 Jun 2012

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UEFA have acknowledged there was racial abuse directed at the Netherlands squad on Wednesday and vow to act should it reoccur.

Bert van Marwijk’s squad were subjected to monkey chants during an open training session in front of over 20,000 fans in Krakow.

While Dutch captain Mark van Bommel labelled the incident ‘a real disgrace’, UEFA initially said it was not racially motivated but rather a group of fans protesting the decision not to select Krakow as one of the host cities for Euro 2012.

In a statement on Friday, UEFA said: “UEFA has now been made aware that there were some isolated incidents of racist chanting that occurred at the opening training session of the Dutch team.

“UEFA has not yet received any formal complaint from the KNVB (Royal Dutch Football Association).

“Should such behaviour happen at further training sessions, UEFA would evaluate the operational measures to be taken to protect the players.

“UEFA has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to discriminatory behaviour and has given the power to referees to stop matches in case of any repeated racist behaviour.”

The Netherlands, drawn in Group B, face Denmark on Saturday before clashes against Germany and Portugal.

Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) chief Piara Powar said UEFA had to investigate the incident after van Bommel’s comments.

“Van Bommel has no reason to invent such a claim. It’s quite clear it happened,” Powar said.

“And if there’s some confusion within the governing bodies, the KNVB or UEFA, then that’s regrettable. In our view, the incident took place.

“If the captain says, ‘My team-mates were racially abused, I heard it, I was there at the ground level’, then one expects any FA to back the captain.

“We’re very clear with UEFA that any incident of this kind needs to be looked at.”

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