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No place for racism in football insist UEFA

sports Updated: Mar 13, 2008 17:54 IST

AFP
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European football's governing body UEFA has reiterated its tough stance on racism insisting there was no place for abuse of that nature in football.

Director of communication William Gaillard was emphasising UEFA's zero tolerance to racism here Thursday 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."

Marseille were beaten 2-0 on Wednesday to leave the two teams at 3-3 on aggregate with Marseille knocked out on away goals.

Gaillard said UEFA were waiting on the match report before launching an inquiry.

"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."

Gaillard, who was attending a seminar for Euro 2008 coaches, added: "We've already taken tough action in proven cases of racism for there's no place in football for violence, xenophobia or homophobia."