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Lazio faces UEFA action over fans' racist abuse

Associated Press Modified: September 21, 2012 at 12:20 pm •  Published: September 21, 2012
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LONDON (AP) — Lazio is facing disciplinary action for racist behavior by its fans in a Europa League at Tottenham after UEFA opened a case against the Italian club on Friday.

Monkey chants were reportedly directed at Tottenham players Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend during the 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane on Thursday which was attended by UEFA President Michel Platini.

Lazio was charged after UEFA received the reports from referee Ovidiu Alin Hategan and match delegate Adonis Procopiou.

"UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against S.S. Lazio for the improper conduct of the club's supporters (racist behaviour)," European football's governing body said in a statement.

When the case is heard on Oct. 18 by UEFA's control and disciplinary body, Lazio could be facing a fine.

On Friday, Bulgarian club Levski Sofia said it has been fined €30,000 ($39,000) by UEFA for racist abuse by their fans at a Europa League match in July against Bosnian team Sarajevo.

But Piara Powar, executive director of the Football Against Racism in Europe group, wants clubs to be ordered to play their next game behind closed doors if their fans are found guilty of racism.

"There needs to be quite a hard symbolic action taken when these instances occur," Powar said.

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