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UEFA investigate Russia over racism

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 Jun 2012

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UEFA have initiated disciplinary proceedings against Russia after crowd trouble in their Euro 2012 opener against Czech Republic.

Reports have emerged that Czech defender Theodor Gebre Selassie was the subject of racist chanting, while there were also allegations that fireworks were thrown and offensive banners were displayed in the crowd.

Footage has also emerged online of stewards being attacked by a large group of fans inside the stadium in Wroclaw.

UEFA’s Control and Disciplinary Body will review the case on Wednesday.

“Disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the Football Union of Russia (RFS) for the improper conduct of its supporters, the setting-off and throwing of fireworks and the display of illicit banners,” UEFA revealed in a statement.

“In addition, regarding reports of alleged abuse directed at Czech Republic players from Russia fans, UEFA is investigating this further and is working with FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) to collect more evidence.”

FARE chief executive Piara Powar confirmed that one of his organisation’s observers had reported racist abuse of Gebre Selassie.

Powar hinted that Gebre Selassie, who is of Ethiopian descent and played at right-back for Czech Republic in Friday’s game, may have been the target of monkey-style chanting.

“Our observer reported descriptions of that nature,” Powar said.

“It was directed at the Czech Republic’s only black player.”

Police spokesman Mariusz Sokolowski said that Polish law enforcement were aware of the violent attack on stewards at the Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw.

“I can confirm that this happened at the stadium,” Sokolowski said.

“The attackers were from the group of Russian language fans.

“We are trying to identify them.

“Police have the security footage from the stadium.

“We are looking into it.”

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