Spain and Russia face UEFA racism charges in Euro 2012

WARSAW Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:14am EDT

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WARSAW (Reuters) - UEFA has charged the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and Russian Football Union (RFS) for racist behavior and racist chanting by their national teams' fans during Euro 2012 matches.

"UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) for the improper conduct of their supporters (racist behavior, racist chanting) at the UEFA Euro 2012 Group C match against Italy in Gdansk on Sunday 10 June," European soccer's governing body said on Tuesday.

"Disciplinary proceedings have also been opened against the Russian Football Union (RFS) for the improper conduct of their supporters (racist behavior, racist chanting) at the UEFA Euro 2012 Group A match against the Czech Republic in Wroclaw on Friday 8 June," UEFA added in a statement

UEFA will deal with the cases on Thursday.

The issue of racism dominated the build-up to Euro 2012, co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine and the biggest sporting event in eastern Europe since the end of communism.

There have been isolated incidents, with UEFA fining the Croatian Football Federation 80,000 euros ($100,600) for racist chants directed at Italy striker Mario Balotelli by their fans at the Group C match in Poznan on June 14.

UEFA has been gathering evidence following reports that Spanish fans racially abused Balotelli during Spain's 1-1 draw with Italy four days earlier.

Czech Republic defender Theodor Gebre Selassie, the first black player to represent the Czech national team, told reporters he had "noticed" racist chants directed at him during his side's game with Russia.

(Writing by Justin Palmer, editing by Ken Ferris)

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