Ronaldo, Casillas make speeches for UEFA campaign

Associated Press Published: June 27, 2012
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DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Team captains Iker Casillas and Cristiano Ronaldo made speeches supporting a UEFA anti-discrimination campaign before Spain and Portugal kicked off their European Championship semifinal match Wednesday.

UEFA requires captains of each semifinalist to deliver prepared statements on the pitch for the "Respect Diversity" campaign. Casillas said "we owe our success to our team spirit and the diversity of our backgrounds."

Ronaldo said that "football can bring people together like no other sport no matter their religious, social or ethnic background."

Ronaldo was jeered by some Spain fans.

The Spanish football association faces a UEFA disciplinary hearing Thursday after some supporters racially abused Italy forward Mario Balotelli during a group match.