Racist incidents mar UEFA competitions24 August 2007

A number of racist incidents have occurred in UEFA competitions in recent weeks. An investigation has now been launched by UEFA's Control and Disciplinary Body. We have a policy of zero tolerance on racism, said UEFA director of communications William Gaillard. Nothing would be done until the UEFA delegation had submitted its report, however. Meanwhile one of the affected clubs, Oslo-based Valerenga, has seized the initiative.

Ekrana v Valerenga (UEFA Cup qualifier)

During the UEFA Cup qualifier between Ekrana (Lithuania) and Valerenga the Norwegian players Freddy dos Santos and Glenn Roberts were subjected to massive racist abuse by home fans. Dos Santos, who was given an award for his anti-racism work by FARE partner Show Racism the Red Card Norway in 2006, drew it to the referee's attention, who denied having heard anything, however. Valerenga have since submitted an official complaint to UEFA. According to Norwegian newspaper reports Valerenga have now decided to donate the gate receipts from the return match to FARE and the fight against racism in European football. They have also agreed to grant free admission to all children and young people who bring a drawing against racism to the game. Valerenga have been pioneers in the fight against racism in Norwegian football for many years.

FK Zeta Golubovci v Glasgow Rangers (Champions League qualifier)
During the Champions League qualifying match between FK Zeta Golubovci of Montenegro and Scottish Premier League runners-up Glasgow Rangers the two black Rangers players DaMarcus Beasley and Jean-Claude Dercheville were subjected to repeated racist abuse by Zeta supporters. Although only a minority of people were involved, according to Beasley, “You still hear it in Spain. It happened In Belgrade. In Montenegro and in Holland as well. But not in Scotland.”

Lazio v Dynamo Bucharest (UEFA Cup qualifier),

Lazio fans taunted opposition players with racist chanting yet again during their home game against Dynamo Bucharest. They are also alleged to have racially abused and attacked Senegal international Dame N'Doye during a friendly with Panathinaikos. In recent years Lazio have been fined several times by the European governing body for the racism of its fans.

Serbia v England (U21 European Championship)

UEFA's Appeals Body tribunal has handed the Football Association of Serbia (FSS) a fine of over 60,000 euros for racist chanting by its fans. The Serbia supporters sang xenophobic chants during the Under-21 European Championship clash between England and Serbia in June (as reported by FARE) . Both the FSS and UEFA had appealed against the original ruling and 25,000 euro fine.