FARE welcomes UEFA decision to sanction Croatia30 June 2008

The Football Against Racism (FARE) network has welcomed the swift action taken by UEFA to deal with the racial abuse and banners displayed by Croatian supporters during UEFA EURO 2008™.

Croatia's football federation has been fined 20,000 Swiss Franc (12,468 €) over the racist behavior of some of the team's fans during the Tournament game with Turkey.

European football's governing body UEFA imposed the fine after the fans were found guilty of “displaying a racist banner and showing racist conduct.”

Uefa.com said once the federation was informed of the reasons for the decision, it had three days to appeal.

The FARE network last week highlighted its observations of racism during the finals saying that most supporters had enjoyed a positive experience but there remained issues that were a cause for concern.

Kurt Wachter of FARE Austrian partner FairPlay- vidc said,
We have presented a list of incidents to UEFA that we feel warrant disciplinary action and have been able to supply evidence for many of them.

Although the wider solution lies in our ongoing work with fans, clubs and FAs such as HNS (Croatian FA), sanctions such as this from UEFA send a clear message of what is and is not unacceptable.

In the framework of the joint UEFA-FARE ”Unite against Racism” programme at the UEFA EURO 2008™ FARE has had monitors from twelve nationalities inside stadiums at each of the 31 games, in fan zones and in streets nearby to stadiums, tasked with reporting back on abuse and harassment arising from racism and other forms of discriminatory behaviour.