Platini: UEFA leading fight against racism

Associated Press Modified: October 23, 2012 at 9:17 am •  Published: October 23, 2012
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PARIS (AP) — A week after UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against both Serbia and England, Michel Platini said Tuesday that the governing body of European football is doing its utmost to combat racism.

"We have a lot of associations that we finance and that we help to fight racism," said Platini, the president of UEFA. "It's not an easy issue, but we are doing everything in our power to eradicate racism in our stadiums."

England under-21 defender Danny Rose complained of racial abuse during last Tuesday's match, saying that trouble had been brewing throughout the evening. He was sent off after kicking a ball into the stands after the final whistle, and gestured to the crowd that he had been racially abused.

Following the match, the British government demanded strong sanctions against Serbia. And besides UEFA's disciplinary proceedings against both Serbia and England, a police probe was ordered from Belgrade after racist chanting and brawls at the match.

"Concerning the under-21 game between Serbia, we will receive the report from the delegates, the report from the officials, from the people who were there. We have television images," Platini said. "The disciplinary committee will deal with it."

The Serbs were charged by UEFA with misconduct over the racial abuse hurled at England players from before kickoff. But both federations face action for "improper conduct" over the scuffles that broke out on the field after the match, which England won 1-0 to secure qualification for the 2013 European Under-21 Championship.

The cases will be heard by UEFA's control and disciplinary board on Nov. 22.

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