WARSAW: Czech Republic defender Theodor Gebre Selassie admitted he heard racist abuse directed at him during their opening Euro 2012 clash with Russia. However, the full-back admits he has had worse and has already put the incident behind him.The abuse that came from Russian fans has been condemned throughout football but the player himself is trying not to dwell on the issue.
“I noticed that,” Gebre Selassie said. “It was nothing extreme. I’ve experienced much worse. Personally, I’m ready to put it behind me. I see no reason to discuss it with the media.”
UEFA has pledged zero tolerance of discrimination during the three-week tournament in Poland and Ukraine. To help achieve this, it asked the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) fans’ network to send two monitors to each match to look for offensive banners, chants and behavior in stadiums, and report to UEFA within 24 hours.
On Saturday, FARE said it identified verbal insults targeted at Gebre Selassie, whose father is Ethiopian. Czech team spokesman Jaroslav Kolar said the team is not considering filing any official complaint and has not been informed by UEFA about any investigation.
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