Russian minister rejects racism claims
Russia's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko yesterday described allegations that Russian football fans racially abused Czech Republic defender Theodor Gebre Selassie at a Euro 2012 game in Poland as "stupid and untrue".
The Football Against Racism in Europe organisation claimed one of its observers at the game heard Russian fans direct monkey chants at the player.
Mr Selassie said he noticed that he was racially abused by small sections of fans, adding that it was "nothing extreme".
Mr Mutko claimed Russian fans were voicing disapproval at Czech fans who did not take part in a Mexican wave. "The Czech sector didn't stand up so they started condemning the Czechs with the appropriate noises," he said.
UEFA has not commented on alleged racist abuse by Russia fans. But it says that it will initiate disciplinary proceedings against the Russian Football Union for flare-throwing by Russian fans after the game. (© Independent News Service)