UEFA takes action against Russia over conduct of fans

Russia fans
Russia fans watch their team beat the Czech Republic. Photo: PA

UEFA have opened disciplinary proceedings against Russia over the behaviour of their fans during their European Championship victory over Czech Republic.

Anti-racism campaigners claimed Czech defender Theodor Gebre Selassie was the victim of monkey chants during last night's Group A game in Wroclaw, while fans were caught on camera attacking stewards in a walkway at the Municipal Stadium.

UEFA tonight decided to take action.

A statement read: "UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Football Union of Russia for the improper conduct of its supporters at Friday's UEFA EURO 2012 match against the Czech Republic.

"After having looked at the security reports and available images, UEFA has today announced that disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the Football Union of Russia (RFS) for the improper conduct of its supporters (crowd disturbances), the setting-off and throwing of fireworks and the display of illicit banners. The control and disciplinary body will review the case on Wednesday, June 13.

"In addition, regarding reports of alleged abuse directed at Czech Republic players from Russia fans, UEFA is investigating this further and is working with FARE to collect more evidence."

The FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) network today confirmed one of their observers at last night's game heard "fleeting" racist abuse of Gebre Selassie.

Asked if it included monkey chants, FARE chief executive Piara Powar told Press Association Sport: "Our observer reported descriptions of that nature.

"It was directed at the Czech Republic's only black player."

Powar said the abuse came from a "small section of the crowd" and admitted: "It may not be easy to pull together evidence for a case to be brought."

Powar also confirmed "Russian Empire" flags were displayed during last night's game, which Russia won 4-1.

Yesterday was the second time in two days black players were said to have been subjected to monkey chants in Poland after members of the Holland squad were racially abused during a training session in Krakow.

Violence also erupted at the Russia-Czech Republic game when a handful of stewards were attacked by large group of fans inside the 40,000-capacity ground.

Footage of the incident has emerged online and police spokesman Mariusz Sokolowski was reported by Eurosport to have said: "I can confirm that this happened at the stadium.

"The attackers were from the group of Russian language fans. We are trying to identify them.

"Police have the security footage from the stadium. We are looking into it."

Reports claimed four members of stadium staff were taken to hospital and released later that evening.

The footage shows one steward left in a heap on the ground after being set upon by several assailants before the violence dissipated and he is helped to his feet, while another is kicked in the head while trying to evade a lone attacker.