WARSAW: European federation UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Russia – host of the 2018 World Cup – over the behaviour of fans during Friday night’s 4-1 defeat of the Czech Republic at Euro 2012.
Czech defender Theodor Gebre Selassie, according to anti-racism campaigners, was the target for monkey chants during the Group A game in Wroclaw while other fans were caught on camera attacking stewards in a walkway at the Municipal Stadium.
A UEFA statement read: “UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Football Union of Russia for the improper conduct of its supporters at Friday’s Euro 2012 match against the Czech Republic.
“After having looked at the security reports and available images, UEFA has today announced that disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the Football Union of Russia (RFS) for the improper conduct of its supporters (crowd disturbances), the setting-off and throwing of fireworks and the display of illicit banners. The control and disciplinary body will review the case on Wednesday, June 13.
“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 to collect more evidence.”
The FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) network confirmed one of its observers at last night’s game heard “fleeting” racist abuse of Gebre Selassie. Chief executive Piara Powar said: “Our observer reported descriptions of that nature. It was directed at the Czech Republic’s only black player.”
Powar also confirmed “Russian Empire” flags were displayed during Friday night’s game, which Russia won 4-1. This was the second time in two days black players were said to have been subjected to monkey chants in Poland after members of the Holland squad were racially abused during a training session in Krakow.
Violence also erupted at the Russia-Czech Republic game when a handful of stewards were attacked by large group of fans inside the 40,000-capacity ground. Footage of the incident has emerged online and police spokesman Mariusz Sokolowski was reported by Eurosport to have said: “I can confirm that this happened at the stadium. 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.”
Reports claimed four members of stadium staff were taken to hospital and released later that evening.
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