UEFA charge England over fans' racist abuse

NYON (Switzerland): European football's ruling body have charged England's Football Association (FA) over racist abuse by English fans at a Euro 2004 qualifier against Turkey last week. 

UEFA had already opened an investigation into pitch invasions by fans and improper conduct by England officials after the match in Sunderland which England won 2-0. 

Thursday's fresh set of disciplinary proceedings from UEFA followed a complaint by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF). 

The TFF will also be investigated over allegations of improper conduct by their players in the tunnel after the Group Seven game on April 2, UEFA said. 

The charges will be dealt with on May 1 at a meeting of UEFA's disciplinary committee. Police made around 100 arrests before and during the match as trouble flared among fans. 

Slovakia were forced to play their next home qualifier behind closed doors after their fans chanted racist abuse at England players on Oct 12. The English FA were fined after supporters charged riot police at the same game in Bratislava. 

England's next qualifier is against Slovakia on June 11 at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium, about 50km from Sunderland. 

UEFA spokesman Mike Lee said in a statement: “Having reviewed the match England vs Turkey of April 2, UEFA have decided to widen the case against the FA to include racist abuse by supporters – they have until April 21 to submit their response. 

“Detailed evidence will now be supplied to our Control and Disciplinary Body for their meeting on May 1 and all issues relating to this match will be dealt with at that meeting.” – Reuters  

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