Anti-racism campaigner calls for tough punishment against Lazio

 

Uefa should threaten to make Lazio play their next Europa League game behind closed doors if their fans are found guilty of making monkey chants, leading anti-racism campaigner Piara Powar said today. 

Tottenham's Aaron Lennon, Jermain Defoe and Andros Townsend all appeared to be the subject of racist chanting during last night's 0-0 draw against the Italian side at White Hart Lane.

Uefa, whose president Michel Platini was at the game, are awaiting reports from the match delegate and referee Ovidiu Alin Hategan before deciding to take action against Lazio.

Members of anti-discrimination group Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) who were in the crowd at the north London ground, said they heard monkey chanting and they are now filing their reports to Uefa to help them with any potential disciplinary action.

The group's executive director Powar thinks European football's governing body need to issue a tough punishment on Lazio to send a strong message to the club that racism will not be tolerated.

He said: "Uefa normally operate a 'three strikes and you're out' policy, and I think Lazio are at first base in that respect, but if (Uefa) really want to set the bar high, if they really want to send out a strong message, then I think they can do so regardless of whether it's a first or second offence.

"I therefore think that Uefa could move directly to something like a match behind closed doors (punishment).

"They could suspend that punishment, perhaps, and then if something happens further down the line, then they can trigger that.

"Lazio are a strong club. They have been part of the European football scene for a long time. There needs to be quite a hard symbolic action taken when these instances occur.

"This punishment is one way of waking the club and the fans up to some of the problems that they face."

Last season Uefa fined Porto £16,700 for their fans' racist abuse at Mario Balotelli and Yaya Toure, but then caused outrage by fining Manchester City £24,735 for being one minute late back onto the pitch after half-time during the Europa League clash.

The punishment also seemed small fry compared to the £80,000 sanction they handed down to Nicklas Bendtner for revealing a sponsor's logo on his underpants during Euro 2012.

Powar urged Spurs to put pressure on Uefa by submitting an official complaint against the Italian side, who they play in the reverse fixture in November.

"It is important that Tottenham raise their concerns with Uefa directly," Powar added.

"It carries a certain weight if matters are passed on to them by club officials - a weight that regular fans cannot match.

"All too often in the past, there have been clubs - not necessarily Tottenham - who are concerned with the diplomacy of international football, perhaps mindful that they have to play these opponents again.

"But this seems to be a fairly clear situation where fans have come to White Hart Lane and insulted some of the Tottenham players.

"There is the potential for flashpoints in the return game in Rome and Uefa need to be aware of that."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment