Croatia charged over racist chants at Balotelli

 

Krakow

Uefa have laid their first formal racism charges at Euro 2012 by opening disciplinary proceedings against Croatia over alleged monkey-chanting directed at Italy's Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.

Croatia have been charged with "improper conduct" of supporters, including "racist chants [and] racist symbols" at the game in Poznan. The governing body received reports from anti-discrimination monitors working with Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE), who testified that Croatia fans made monkey noises and displayed far-right nationalist flags. Balotelli was substituted in the second half of the 1-1 draw. "It was fairly consistent throughout the game," FARE executive director Piara Powar said yesterday. "It was at its most intense as he was substituted and left the field."

The charge also relates to fireworks thrown on the field after Croatia scored, which delayed Italy's kick-off to restart the game.

Uefa's Control and Disciplinary Body will deal with the case on Tuesday. The Croatian Football Association has condemned its "deviant" fans and asked to be spared sanctions, though national associations are deemed responsible for their fans' behaviour. Punishments range from warnings and a sliding scale of fines to points deductions and even expulsion from Euro 2012.

Chants were also allegedly made at Balotelli during Italy's Group C match last Sunday in Gdansk. In a separate investigation, evidence is also being sought by the governing body to support claims that Russian fans made monkey noises at Czech Republic defender Theodor Gebre Selassie in Wroclaw.

Balotelli's agent, Mino Raiola, has told The Independent on Sunday that he is indignant at the way the Uefa president, Michel Platini, dismissed his client's threats to walk off the field if subjected to racism. "I don't believe Platini has done anything to improve the game or help the position of players, as his reaction to Mario shows," said Raiola. Balotelli made his pre-tournament comments to a magazine after racist attacks against Asian fans in Ukraine were brought to light by a Panorama documentary.

A further concern for Balotelli is the knee injury that could keep him out of his country's final Group C game against Republic of Ireland tomorrow, after he limped off during yesterday's training session.

Medical staff will assess his fitness today, with Antonio Di Natale likely to replace him if he fails to recover. Napoli forward Di Natale came on for Balotelli in the second half of Italy's opening two matches, scoring against Spain. Italy must beat Republic of Ireland to stand a chance of reaching the quarter-finals.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific