European football’s governing body, UEFA, have confirmed that they will take swift action against Hungarian champions Ferencvaros after the ugly scenes during their 3-1 UEFA Cup victory over Millwall in Budapest on Thursday 30 September 2004. Throughout the match, the Ferencvaros crowd showered Millwall’s Paul Ifall and Mark McCammon with a torrent of racist abuse.
Millwall’s chief of security, Ken Chapman has stated that it was some of the worst abuse he has heard in 15 years. Campaigners are again shocked at the intolerable levels of racism present in Eastern European football.
UEFA were quick to condemn the actions. UEFA spokesman William said,
“We will read our delegate's report and may also look at television images; we take this seriously. We go to great lengths to investigate and punish clubs or federations – we have a policy of zero tolerance. If we're dealing with chanting by crowds, it will probably be a financial penalty or maybe we would go as far as ground closure. Financial penalties force clubs and federations to take measures against the fans and start education programmes. These fines end up in UEFA coffers and are used to fight racism, so it has a double effect.”
UEFA has repeatedly supported FARE with financial backing over previous years. It is from the money that UEFA collects from fines that FARE uses to establish anti-racist education projects in areas where racism is rife.