Spain and Russia in the dock over racist chants by fans at Euro 2012
13:46 GMT, 26 June 2012
UEFA charged the Spanish and Russian football associations on Tuesday for racist chants by fans at the European Championship.
The charges follow reports that
monkey noises were directed by Spain fans at Italy forward Mario
Balotelli, and that Russian fans targeted Czech Republic defender
Theodor Gebre Selassie. Both players are black.
Targeted: Italian striker Mario Balotelli
UEFA said it opened disciplinary cases for 'improper conduct of their supporters (racist behavior, racist chanting).'
The European football body said its disciplinary panel will deal with the cases Thursday.
Spain and Russia will likely receive financial penalties if the cases are proven.
Still, UEFA has threatened Russia with a six-point deduction in its 2016 European Championship qualifying group after some fans attacked stadium stewards in Wroclaw following the Czech match on June 8.
UEFA has said the deduction would be enforced if fans repeated their violent behavior.
In the first proven case of racist abuse at Euro 2012, UEFA fined the Croatia football association (euro) 80,000 ($100,000) for a range of charges including insults directed at Balotelli.
In the dock: Russia fans
Discrimination monitors appointed by UEFA reported that around 300 Croatia supporters made monkey noises at the Italy forward during a June 14 match in Poznan.
A Spanish fans' group previously reported that some Spain followers made monkey noises at Balotelli during a June 10 match in Gdansk. The group, affiliated to the Football Supporters Europe network, said other Spanish fans intervened urging the offenders to stop.
Gebre Selassie acknowledged that he was racially abused by Russians during the opening group match but declined to file a complaint.
UEFA received reports from monitors supplied by FARE, a Europe-wide fans' network, and later asked Czech team officials to help provide evidence which could be used to prosecute the case.