The English Football Association have been handed a record fine by UEFA following the racist chanting and crowd disturbances at the UEFA EURO 2004 game between England and Turkey, played on 2 April at Sunderland. The FA was also been given a final warning as to the future conduct of England supporters.
UEFA’s Control and Disciplinary Body found the FA guilty of the disciplinary charges relating to pitch incursions and racist chanting. Considering all of the available evidence and the FA’s track record on these issues, the Control and Disciplinary Body imposed a fine of €99,000 – the highest ever for a racism-related charge. The Control and Disciplinary Body totally condemned the offensive and racist verbal abuse of opposing fans.
Mike Lee, UEFA’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs, said:
“The verdict has upheld two of the most important charges and sent a clear warning for the future. The English FA’s actions against racism have been taken into account and we trust that the additional steps that are being proposed will be successful”.
Ironically, UEFA uses the money collected through fines to help its chosen good causes. FARE itself has previously benefited from such financial support from UEFA and works closely with UEFA to combat racism within the game. More recently, after the “Unite Against Racism” conference held earlier this year by UEFA, FARE and The English FA; UEFA is making financial aid available to national football authorities to kick start anti-racist initiatives.