Saturday, June 16, 2012


Uefa has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Croatian Football Federation following racist chanting during the Italy game. 

The European football governing body acted to stamp out monkey chanting at the European Championship for the first time on Saturday after opening disciplinary proceedings against Croatia over the alleged abuse of Mario Balotelli.

A photographer reportedly saw a steward retrieving a banana and heard monkey chants directed at Mario Balotelli.

It was unclear whether the proceedings were also intended to deal with claims a banana was thrown on to the field during the game in Poznan or if that would be handled separately.

The disciplinary proceedings are outlined for "racist chants, racist symbols" in the crowd. 

'UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) for the setting-off and throwing of fireworks, and the improper conduct of supporters (racist chants, racist symbols) at the UEFA Euro 2012 Group C match against Italy in Poznan on Thursday'' UEFA said in a statement

The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body will deal with the case on 19 June.'

Manchester City forward Balaotelli, who before Euro 2012 said he would 'kill' anyone who racially abused him and walk off the pitch in protest, is already the subject of one probe.

UEFA are investigating reports that the 21-year-old was racially abused during Italy's game against Spain, but the evidence against Croatia was gathered by an independent body.

FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) announced on Friday that their observers heard between 300 and 500 Croatia fans chanting monkey noises, which prompted Uefa to investigate the matter.

The Croatian Football Federation (HNS) has condemned the "deviant" fans who had shamed their country but urged Uefa to spare them further sanctions.

In a statement it said: "The Croatian Football Federation distances itself from all deviant behaviour of the part of the fans during the final tournament of Uefa Euro 2012 and strongly condemns it. 

Croatia were fined 15,000 pounds by FIFA just under four years ago after England striker Emile Heskey was subjected to a monkey chant in a World Cup qualifier in Zagreb.

They were also given a small fine during Euro 2008 for racist abuse from their fans during their game against Turkey.

Alleged racist chanting in the Spain-Italy and Russia-Czech Republic games are already subject to investigations.

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