Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

New French economy minister signals changes to 35-hour week

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Valls ♥ Business

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Terrorist ransoms: Should governments pay up for hostages?

Read more

ENCORE!

Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche star in 'Clouds of Sils Maria'

Read more

WEB NEWS

India: journalist launches "Rice Bucket Challenge"

Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Evidence of Russian support for Ukrainian rebel counter-attack grows

    Read more

  • Platini will not run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

    Read more

  • Air France pilots announce week-long strike in September

    Read more

  • Erdogan's inauguration paves way for constitutional change

    Read more

  • New French economy minister takes swipe at 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Air France suspends flights to Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone

    Read more

  • Uzi shooting by 9-year-old rekindles gun debate

    Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

  • Missouri governor appoints black public safety director

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

  • IMF’s Lagarde investigated in French corruption case

    Read more

Sport

Dutch team complain of racist abuse in Poland

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-06-08

Fears of fan racism overshadowing Euro 2012 resurfaced Friday after the Dutch team (pictured) were reportedly subjected to racist "monkey chants" at a stadium in Poland. A UEFA official said the Polish supporters were not targeting the players.

AFP - Fears over Euro 2012 being overshadowed by racist incidents returned on Friday after Netherlands captain Mark van Bommel said the team heard racist chanting during a public training session in the southern Polish city of Krakow.

Co-hosts Poland and Ukraine have already rejected claims that racist violence is rife at their football grounds, which has led to governments of some participating nations to warn travelling fans to be on their guard.

But as the tournament prepares to kick off on Friday, van Bommel said they were forced to train away from fans who had turned up for a public training session in Krakow on Wednesday.

"We all heard the monkey chants," van Bommel was quoted as saying by De Telegraaf newspaper. "We can't accept that. We reacted well and the situation was sorted."

The AC Milan midfielder added: "During the tournament, if any one of us is confronted with such a thing, we'll immediately go to the referee to ask him to intervene."

European football's governing body UEFA had said that a small group of protesters targeted the Dutch team's training ground in Krakow on Wednesday but denied the demonstrations were racist.

De Telegraaf previously reported that a handful of the 25,000 fans who turned up to watch the Oranje train had made monkey noises at the side's black players during the warm-up.

But UEFA, which has a zero tolerance policy on racism at football grounds, said it had spoken to the Dutch squad and they said they had not seen or heard anything of a racist nature, the official said.

Instead, a senior official told AFP that some Polish supporters were unhappy at European football's governing body for not making Krakow one of the four Polish host cities for the tournament and made themselves heard.

One journalist from Dutch radio RNW, however, maintained that some of the short-lived protest that was cut short by stadium officials was racist.

Photos showed some fans with banners with a red line through the Euro 2012 logo.

Coach Bert Van Marwijk, who is van Bommel's father-in-law, had said after the training session: "I congratulate the spectators who created an extraordinary atmosphere in the stadium."

The Netherlands play their opening match in Group B against Denmark in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Saturday.

Last month, BBC television aired a documentary suggesting that far-right gangs used football matches in both host nations as recruiting grounds and showed footage of fans making Nazi salutes and monkey noises at black players.

The British government, among others, issued a travel warning to fans about the risk of racist violence, prompting the families of two black England players to say they would stay at home.

Former England captain Sol Campbell, who is black, publicly advised black and ethnic minority fans not to travel while Italy's Mario Balotelli even said he would walk off the pitch if he were subject to racial taunts.

Poland, Ukraine and UEFA president Michel Platini have said that racism was not just a problem for the host nations.

"Across the world and Europe in particular, you can see that over the last few years there's been more and more nationalism and you see it at a lot of matches," Platini told reporters in Warsaw on Wednesday.

"It's easy to point the finger at Ukraine and Poland for racism but all countries are faced with the same problem... We've done a lot of things but it's not a football problem, it's a social problem."

Platini also said it has measures in place to ensure that racist incidents are kept to a minimum and referees now had the power to take players off the pitch.

"We would support them if they stopped the match," he told reporters.

 

Date created : 2012-06-08

  • EURO 2012

    Euro 2012 refs to halt matches if players racially abused

    Read more

  • EURO 2012

    France promised big payout for Euro 2012 triumph

    Read more

  • EURO 2012

    Dark horses France out to banish painful memories

    Read more

COMMENT(S)