The FA releases statement regarding alleged racist chanting
The FA has released the following statement after Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) filed a complaint to world governing body FIFA over alleged racist chanting by England fans in San Marino last Friday (22 March).
Adrian Bevington, Managing Director of Club England and Group Communications Director, said: “The FA takes all incidents and allegations of racism extremely seriously.
“In San Marino, we had FA security officers monitoring the English supporters in the stadium. This includes recorded video footage. We also worked closely with UK Police in advance of and on the night of the game.
“While we have no reason to dispute the media reports which are without doubt made for the right reasons of fighting racism, at this time we have not found any recorded evidence of the specific discriminatory chanting referring to Rio and Anton Ferdinand and the vile ‘bonfire’ song. We will of course continue to review all of our recorded footage.
“We recognise the importance of FARE’s responsibility to report any incidents to FIFA. We will liaise with FIFA and work with them to assist any investigation. Should evidence of any racial chanting be found, we would expect action to be taken against any individuals. The FA would terminate englandfans membership of any guilty members, while we would expect banning orders to be issued by the courts as a minimum penalty.
“We do not want supporters who chant vile or racist abuse following the England team.
“The FA will continue to work closely with Kick It Out and FARE to ensure we do all we can to eradicate racism from football. We fully recognise that we must continue to address any issues that arise involving our own supporters in the same manner we expect other nations to do so.
“We should also make clear that in addition to the officially ticketed englandfans in San Marino, there was also a large number of non-members who did not receive tickets through The FA.
“As is normal practice for England senior away fixtures, The FA had full-time staff and security managing the collection of tickets for the games in San Marino and Montenegro.
“We also made specific arrangements in Montenegro for official supporters to be issued with wristbands on collection of their tickets.
“The FA has a stringent approach to ticketing and security, working closely with UK Police and other UK agencies.
“We will continue to take every possible measure to ensure our supporters conduct themselves appropriately, as most have over the past decade.
“However, we will not accept any racist chanting and we also call on those attending England matches at home and abroad to stop the ‘No Surrender’ chanting during the singing of the national anthem, both before and during games.
“We have made significant progress following the hooliganism that blighted the national team in 1998 and 2000. We must continue to maintain this hard work.”
Kick It Out chair Lord Herman Ouseley commented: “Kick It Out welcomes the commitment from the authorities to investigate this. We have been liaising with them and fan groups and await any action which follows from the subsequent evidence gathering.”
From The FA