It wasn't racism, it was about a Mexican wave, says Russia's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko
Russia's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko yesterday described allegations that Russian football fans racially abused Czech Republic defender Theodor Gebre Selassie at a Euro 2012 game in Poland as "stupid and untrue".
The Football Against Racism in Europe organisation claimed one of its observers at the game between Russia and the Czech Republic in Wroclaw on Friday heard Russian fans direct monkey chants at the player. Selassie said he noticed that he was racially abused by small sections of fans, though he added that it was "nothing extreme".
Mr Mutko claimed Russian fans were voicing disapproval at Czech fans who did not take part in a Mexican wave. "The Czech sector didn't stand up so they started condemning the Czechs with the appropriate noises," he said.
The run-up to the tournament has been dominated by allegations of racism in both Poland and Ukraine, though officials from both countries say media coverage is overblown.
Some black and Asian England fans arriving in Ukraine's city of Donetsk for England's opening game against France tonight said family members had urged them to avoid Ukraine, after the BBC's Panorama broadcast footage of racist attacks in the country. The families of black England players Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have chosen not to travel to the tournament amid fears of racist attacks.
UEFA has not commented on alleged racist abuse by Russia fans. But it says that it will initiate disciplinary proceedings against the Russian Football Union for flare throwing and improper conduct by Russian fans after the game.
Latest in Sport
The Prince of Wales Stakes today is regarded by many as the No1 race of the Royal Ascot meeting and ...
by Gareth Purnell
19 June 2013 02:01 AM
Today’s St James Palace looks a cracker and there has been sustained money for Dawn Approach since t...
by Gareth Purnell
18 June 2013 02:01 AM
Newcastle don’t need a football director – they need a new medical team after finishing bottom of the injury league
Newcastle United have shocked their fans by appointing Joe Kinnear as director of football but new f...
by Alex Miller
17 June 2013 04:39 PM
ACT Brumbies v British and Irish Lions - player ratings
Alan Pardew set to issue Joe Kinnear with a warning: I am still the manager of Newcastle United
The best and worst Premier League kits for the 2013/14 season
In pictures: Royal Ascot 2013 - Opening day
Exclusive: Cristiano Ronaldo advised to stay at Real Madrid for further 18 months before making possible switch to Manchester United
- 1 Freedom fighters? Cannibals? The truth about Syria’s rebels
- 2 Breaking the Silence: In the reality of occupation, there are no Palestinian civilians – only potential terrorists
- 3 Special Report: US troops are stationed in Japan to protect the nation. But to sex workers in Okinawa, they bring fear, not security
- 4 Vice pulls 'breathtakingly tasteless' fashion shoot glorifying the suicides of famous female authors from Sylvia Plath to Virginia Woolf
- 5 Iran to send 4,000 troops to aid President Assad forces in Syria