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RUSSIA/SPAIN | Spain and Russia face UEFA racism charges

Source: Reuters Thursday, 28 June 2012, 06:04

UEFA has charged the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and Russian Football Union (RFS) for racist behavior and racist chanting by their national teams' fans during Euro 2012 matches.

"UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) for the improper conduct of their supporters (racist behavior, racist chanting) at the UEFA Euro 2012 Group C match against Italy in Gdansk on Sunday 10 June," European soccer's governing body said on Tuesday.

"Disciplinary proceedings have also been opened against the Russian Football Union (RFS) for the improper conduct of their supporters (racist behavior, racist chanting) at the UEFA Euro 2012 Group A match against the Czech Republic in Wroclaw on Friday 8 June," UEFA added in a statement.

UEFA will deal with the cases on Thursday.

The Croatian Football Federation were later fined 30,000 euros ($37,400) after fans set off and threw fireworks and displayed "inappropriate and racist banners" during the Group C match against Spain in Gdansk on June 18, their second racism-related fine of the tournament.

Croatia were fined 80,000 euros for racist chants directed at Italy striker Mario Balotelli by their fans in Poznan on June 14.

UEFA has been gathering evidence following reports that Spanish fans racially abused Balotelli during Spain's 1-1 draw with Italy four days earlier.

Czech Republic defender Theodor Gebre Selassie, the first black player to represent the Czech national team, told reporters he had "noticed" racist chants directed at him during his side's game with Russia.

The issue of racism dominated the build-up to Euro 2012, co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine and the biggest sporting event in eastern Europe since the end of communism.

Semi-finalists Portugal, who take on Spain in Donetsk on Wednesday, were also fined 7,000 euros by UEFA after a fan attempted to enter the pitch during their 1-0 quarter-final win against the Czech Republic in Warsaw on June 21.


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