EURO 2012

Spain, Russia both in the dock

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KIEV, Ukraine

UEFA have opened disciplinary proceedings against both the Spanish football federation and the Russian football union for the "improper conduct" of their supporters during Euro 2012 group matches.

The cases both relate to racist behaviour and racist chanting, European football's governing body announced Tuesday.

A UEFA statement read: "UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) for the improper conduct of their supporters (racist behaviour, racist chanting) at the EURO 2012 Group C match against Italy in Gdansk on Sunday 10 June.

"Disciplinary proceedings have also been opened against the Russian Football Union (RFS) for the improper conduct of their supporters (racist behaviour, racist chanting) at the EURO 2012 Group A match against the Czech Republic in Wroclaw on Friday 8 June."

The cases will be dealt with on Thursday.

Spain face Portugal Wednesday night in the first of the two Euro 2012 semi-finals.

Russia were knocked out at the group stage after finishing third in Group A.

Russia have been punished three times already by UEFA for the improper behaviour of their fans during the tournament.

They were given a suspended six-point deduction from their next Euro qualifying campaign, and fined 120,000 euros (£96,761), due to "the setting off and throwing of fireworks and the display of illicit banners'' during the opening group match against the Czechs.

Russia appealed against that punishment.

The RFS were then fined 30,000 euros (£24,300) for spectator-related incidents during their second group match against Poland, which again included the setting off and throwing of fireworks, the displaying of illicit banners and a pitch invasion of a supporter.

And on Saturday the RFS were hit with a 35,000 euros (£28,000) fine for fireworks and displaying of illicit banners in their final Group A game against Greece.

UEFA have also punished several other countries for spectator-related incidents in Poland and Ukraine.

The Croatian football federation (HNS) were last Tuesday fined 80,000 euros (£64,561) after their fans were found guilty of racially abusing Mario Balotelli during their match game against Italy.

The punishment, which was also dished out for the setting off and throwing of fireworks, was the first for a racially-aggravated offence at a tournament which has been marred by the problem.

According to official observers, Italy striker Balotelli was subjected to monkey chants by between 300 and 500 Croatia fans during the 1-1 Group B draw in Poznan.

There were also accusations of a banana being thrown onto the pitch at the Municipal Stadium.


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