June 12, 2012
UEFA to look into possible racist incidents
By MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI Agency
WARSAW - UEFA is going to be one busy soccer organization.
It has now opened an investigation into allegations that Italian forward Mario Balotelli was subjected to racist acts.
The abuse happened during Italy's game Sunday against Spain in Gdansk, Poland.
The abuse from Spanish fans was reported from a number of sources including fans and photographers.
UEFA have also decided to launch an inquiry into incidents that happened in Russia's encounter with the Czech Republic Friday.
"Following the provision (providing) of new independent information today, regarding the two cases of alleged racist chanting in the Spain-Italy and Russia-Czech Republic matches, UEFA is now conducting further investigations," UEFA said in a statement.
"There are, however, no disciplinary proceedings opened at this moment in time."
It is just the latest in a long line of incidents that began just before the tournament opened when Dutch captain Marc van Bommel reported his team was subjected to racist chants at an open training session in Krakow.
Italy's coach Cesare Prandelli said Balotelli had not been abused.
But Thomas Herzog, member of the Fans Embassy team for Spanish supporters said he heard it.
"We were present during the match inside the football stadium and stayed inside the stand of the Spanish supporters over the entire course of the match.
"At some point during the match then, about 200 supporters started monkey chants when the Italian player Mario Balotelli touched the ball."