Anti-racism groups target Euro 2012

  • @stevetongue

Anti-racist campaigners are working to ensure that next summer's European Championship in Poland and Ukraine does not become the next flashpoint after the recent series of events involving players, supporters and administrators.

On Friday, Uefa fined the Bulgarian FA €40,000 (£34,000) for the latest instance of racist abuse suffered by England players in eastern Europe, following similar occurrences against Croatia, Slovakia and Serbia.

Earlier this year a report highlighted 195 cases of football-related incidents of racism and discrimination in the two host countries for Euro 2012 during an 18-month period

It said: "In Ukraine we urge extreme vigilance by the authorities towards the presence of far-right groups, who we believe will be active and visible during the Euros next year. We are pleased to be working with the local organising committees in both countries through the Uefa social responsibility programme for 2012."

The London-based group Football Against Racism in Europe (Fare) co-ordinated a series of events in the two countries last month aimed at raising awareness.

It included training at the National Stadium in Warsaw for stewards in recognising racist and fascist symbols of Polish extreme right-wing movements, who have often used footballas a recruiting ground. Anti-semitism has also been a problem in Poland,and Legia Warsaw were fined €10,000 (£8,540) by Uefa last week after an offensive banner was displayed attheir Europa League game against Hapoel Tel Aviv.

According to Fare, there have also been instances of racism in the past at Lviv, one of the four Ukranian 2012 venues and a specially arrangedmulti-racial game were held there and in Warsaw last month.