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Cassano fined over comments

Antonio Cassano has been fined €15,000 by UEFA for the homophobic comments he made while with Italy at Euro 2012.

At a press conference during the tournament in Poland and Ukraine, Cassano said he hoped there were no homosexuals in the national team squad.

He later said his comments had been misinterpreted and that he had not wanted to cause offence, but UEFA has taken action against him.

"The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body has fined Italy's Antonio Cassano 15,000 euros for a discriminatory press statement during UEFA EURO 2012," a statement on the governing body's website said.

"An appeal can be lodged against this decision within three days of the dispatch of the full written decision."

Cassano had responded to questions about reports in Italy which claimed there were two homosexual players in Cesare Prandelli's 23-man Euro 2012 group.

"The [national] coach had warned me that you would ask me this question," Cassano said. "If I say what I think... I hope there are none. But if there are queers here, that's their business."

Cassano apologised for his comments the following day. "I sincerely regret that my statements have sparked controversy and protest from gay rights groups," he said in a statement on the official website of the Italian Football Federation.

"Homophobia is a sentiment that is not mine. I did not want to offend anyone and I cannot question the sexual freedom of other people.

"I only said that it is a problem that does not concern me and it is not for me to pass judgment on the choices of others, who are all respected."