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Mar, 15, 2013

Inter only facing a fine - FARE

Andre Villas-Boas expects UEFA to take action against Inter Milan after their supporters appeared to racially abuse Tottenham players during their Europa League defeat in Milan.

Anti-discrimination body FARE believes Inter Milan will face no more than a fine for the racist abuse directed at Tottenham players on Thursday night.

Inter fans were heard making monkey chants towards Emmanuel Adebayor during their team's 4-1 victory at San Siro on Thursday night, which led to their elimination from the Europa League on away goals, and there were claims of further abuse at half-time and full-time.

UEFA is expected to charge Inter but, given that it is their first offence in Europe, FARE's executive director, Piara Powar, feels they are likely to face a relatively light punishment.

Powar told the Press Association: "Our observer at the match did hear monkey chants towards Adebayor and other things. The issue with Inter is that this is their first offence in Europe so if they are found guilty they are only going to be facing a fine. One of the things we are pushing for is that the sanctionary process is unsatisfactory."

It is not the first such incident involving Inter this season, with the Italian FA fining the club €50,000 after they waved inflatable bananas and unfurled abusive banners aimed at AC Milan duo Mario Balotelli and Sulley Muntari in last month's derby.

That followed a fine of €15,000 when Inter fans chanted racist slurs about Balotelli, who left the club in 2010, during a game against Chievo.

Spurs also faced significant problems when taking on Lazio in the group stage and Powar added: "All the Spurs matches in Italy this season have gone down as among our 'risk matches' for racism.

"I think this shows in terms of racism and racial abuse that there is a mini crisis that Italian football is going through - probably because Italian society is only just coming to terms with its own diversity."

Anti-racism group Kick It Out has also called on UEFA to do more to protect black players.

"This trend of black players representing English clubs abroad being roundly abused in this way needs to be dealt with,'' Kick It Out chair Lord Herman Ouseley said. "Again, it appears that the match officials have failed in their duty to protect the players under their watch.

"Campaigning groups like Kick It Out, particularly in the face of domestic issues here in the UK, can only do so much. Unless UEFA does more on the issue, we stand still."

Spurs defender William Gallas said he could understand why players refused to play when subjected to racial abuse.

"Some players come off the pitch to show they are disappointed," he said. "I understand it and that shows we are not happy about this.

"It's not the first time we've had these incidents. UEFA and FIFA have to act because they have to understand what we can feel,when we are on the pitch. To hear that is not good. Sometimes the best thing is to punish the people who do this."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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