England's fans reported for racial abuse of Ferdinand Rio and Anton Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand pulled out of the England squad ahead of the match

England's supporters have been reported to Fifa by European football's anti-racist watchdog Fare for alleged racist chanting about Rio Ferdinand during England's World Cup qualifier in San Marino last week.

If Fifa decide there is a case to answer the Football Association could face an ultimate sanction of being forced to play a game behind closed doors, although a fine would be the most likely outcome. Abusive chants about Ferdinand, who pulled out of the game citing fitness concerns only to fly to Doha to work as a pundit for Al Jazeera, were clearly heard during the match in San Marino last Friday.

England fans chanted "Rio Ferdinand, you know what you are" and then sung an obscene song that suggested Ferdinand and his brother Anton should be burnt on a bonfire. It is the second chant in particular that is understood to be under scrutiny.

"One of the things we want to underline straight off is that sometimes racism doesn't only take the form of monkey chants or bananas being thrown," said Piara Powar, head of Fare. "Sometimes there are things that are more subtle at play.

"In the end we are not responsible for making a decision on whether England fans are guilty of racism here but we do have a duty to report things that are said to us because individuals have reported them as racist or xenophobic within the context. We have people who look at this stuff and they have a fairly clear idea of the standards required by governing bodies.

"It's then put to them and it's their process. In this case it's Fifa's process. They see whether the evidence hits the standard to take forward a prosecution."

Fare did not have observers at the match and the report submitted to Fifa was assembled via information from witnesses who attended the game. Fifa is awaiting reports from its own match commissioner before deciding whether any disciplinary action should be instigated. A decision will not be made until the middle of next week as the governing body's offices are currently closed for the Easter break. The FA has yet to receive Fare's report and was unaware of any allegations of racist chanting. FA security officials who were at the game did not report anything untoward.

While the chants include no obvious racial references, it is the inclusion of Anton Ferdinand's name that raised Fare's concerns. It was the younger Ferdinand whom John Terry was accused of racially abusing – an incident that begun a chain of events that saw Terry retire from international football.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin