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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 12, 2005

Pitiful fine for racist chanting at Atletico

UEFA will not 'put pressure' on the Spanish Football Federation after Atletico Madrid were fined a meagre £420 for the racist behaviour of their fans during Sunday's derby game with Real Madrid.

Robert Carlos received horrendous abuse during the game but it was judged to be only a minor misdemeanour by the committee, hence the relatively small fine.

The Spanish FA came under fire following the abuse aimed at England's black players during November's friendly against Spain in Madrid, but European football's governing body have said they will not intervene or exert pressure on the Spanish disciplinary committee.

UEFA communications director William Gaillard said: 'The incident was the responsibility of the Spanish football authorities and UEFA views their decision as a positive outcome, in line with our own policy on such matters.

'The fine was relatively small, but we are the association of associations and we do not interfere with the internal business of any country

He added: 'In Europe, we do not tolerate this behaviour and UEFA has its own standard of fines for these incidents. But we will not be putting pressure on the Spanish authorities.'

After racist behaviour among Spanish football crowds was apparently imitated at Blackburn recently, concerns are being raised by British anti-racism campaigners over the leniency of the Spanish authorities.

Leon Mann, Europe and Media relations officer for Kick It Out, said: 'What happens on the Continent can have an effect here in Britain.'

'We view recent events in Spain as a serious problem, as people in thiscountry have a great deal of access to Spanish football and unfortunately we have seen copycat effects.

'The size of the fine sends out the wrong message. Work against racism in this country has shown that fines to clubs lead to serious proactive work against racism and the Spanish football authorities need to send out a more serious message.

He added: 'We are working with Spanish anti-racism campaigns to help them secure the support they need to help combat the problem.'

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