Spanish fans admit Italy striker Mario Balotelli was racially abused

 

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The Independent Online

A representative of a Spanish supporters' group has admitted that "about 200" fans racially abused Mario Balotelli during Spain's game against Italy in Gdansk on Sunday.

Uefa is to investigate the incident, as well as claims that Theodor Gebre Selassie, the Czech Republic defender, was on the receiving end of similar abuse from Russian supporters last week.

Racist chants were directed at Balotelli during the match against the European champions. Thomas Herzog, a member of the Spanish fans embassy, said yesterday: "At some point during the match, about 200 supporters started chants when the Italian player Mario Balotelli touched the ball. We are clearly angry about this small section of Spanish supporters showing this kind of racist behaviour."

Uefa has claimed there will be "zero tolerance" of racism at Euro 2012 but also said it requires clear evidence before taking action against a federation, which in the first case would be a fine rising to a points deduction and, at the extreme, expulsion from the tournament.

Gebre Selassie said he was abused but has not made a complaint. "It was nothing extreme. I've experienced much worse," he said.

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