Racial abuse in Europe to be probed

Director of communication William Gaillard was emphasising Uefa’s zero tolerance to racism yesterday in the wake of monkey chants directed at Marseille’s Ronald Zubar in Wednesday’s Uefa Cup game at Zenit St Petersburg.

Zubar says he and his fellow black teammates Charles Kabore and Andre Ayew, were targeted by some Russian fans as the trio were warming up on the touchline for the last 16 second round tie.

“They threw a banana at us and made monkey sounds,” complained the player from the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.

“It’s not great. That makes the defeat worse, while they had everything to celebrate. We would have preferred that the match was stopped and the individuals removed.”

Uefa later confirmed that they were launching an inquiry into the incident and their Control and Disciplinary Body would be examining the matter at their meeting on Thursday, March 20.

“Uefa disciplinary regulations says that various sanctions may be imposed on clubs whose supporters insult the human dignity of a person or group of persons by whatever means, including on grounds of colour, race, religion or ethnic origin,” Uefa said in a statement.

Gaillard said: “I don’t know the circumstances of Marseille's game in Saint Petersburg against Zenit but in this type of case the procedure is to set up a disciplinary inquiry.

“The measures we take depend on the seriousness of the incident but Uefa’s principle is for zero tolerance towards racism.”

“We’ve already taken tough action in proven cases of racism and there’s no place in football for violence, xenophobia or homophobia.”

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