LONDON (AFP) –
England fans have been reported to FIFA by anti-racism body FARE after aiming sick taunts at Rio and Anton Ferdinand during last week’s World Cup qualifier against San Marino.
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand angered supporters by withdrawing from the squad to face San Marino and Montenegro because it did not fit in with his pre-planned training programme and then travelling to Qatar to work as a television pundit on England’s 8-0 victory.
A significant number of the 3,000 England fans in San Marino joined in the singing of a song suggesting the brothers should be burned on a bonfire and it was suggested the chant had racist overtones because Anton Ferdinand was the target of racist abuse from former England captain John Terry.
FARE’s executive director Piara Powar believes world governing body FIFA should take action and he said: “Although we did not have observers at the match we have pulled together evidence sent to us including media comment and have passed that on to FIFA.
“I think that it’s one of those things that is very subtle. We would say racism and other forms of discrimination is not always banana throwing and monkey chants. It can be very subtle and the people collating the reports believed it is strong enough to send on to FIFA.
“From the reports we have seen I personally think there was an undercurrent of race there, and other people have thought that it has been imbued with racist overtones.
“Whether FIFA think that is strong enough to take action is another question entirely and we accept that it is certainly an unusual report.”
A English FA spokesman claimed they had received no official notification of any complaint.
FARE have also reported racist or xenophobic incidents at the Croatia v Serbia and Poland v Ukraine matches.Published 29 Mar 2013, 00:56 IST