English FA wants probe into Heskey abuse during WC Qualifier12 September 2008

The FA has submitted a report to FIFA urging the game's ruling body to investigate the racist chanting directed at the England striker Emile Heskey by Croatian fans during Wednesday's win in Zagreb.

Home fans behind Croatian goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa's goal made monkey chants after Heskey was booked for a foul on Nico Kovac, whose brother Robert had been dismissed nine minutes earlier.

A spokesman for the Croatian football federation has since claimed it was an isolated incident which should not “mar the overall positive impression”. Nevertheless, the FA and the Wigan striker were left dismayed at the crowd's reaction.

“It is unacceptable for anyone to be subjected to racial abuse and we will be asking Fifa to investigate this,” said the FA. “The FA and England team are determined to do all they can to eradicate any form of racism from football and society.”

The Croatian federation was fined around £10,000 following similar incidents during the international side's quarter-final defeat to Turkey on penalties in the Euro 2008 quarter-finals in Vienna, though that relatively small sanction does not appear to have dissuaded offenders.

“We have held meetings with Uefa and the Croatian authorities, but we want to see more support from authorities such as the judiciary and politicians to stamp out the problem,” said Michael Fanizadeh, a co-ordinator with Football Against Racism in Europe. “Sanctions can help, but we need them to acknowledge that there is a deep-rooted problem first of all.”
“It is unacceptable for anyone to be subjected to racial abuse and we will be asking Fifa to investigate this.

Heskey has been racially abused while on England duty before, in Slovakia in 2002, while Shaun Wright-Phillips and Ashley Cole were subjected to monkey chants in a friendly against Spain in Madrid in 2004.