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Lazio hit by UEFA racism fine

By James Masters, for CNN
October 18, 2012 -- Updated 1851 GMT (0251 HKT)
Lazio's Miroslav Klose was unable to break the deadlock at White Hart Lane as the teams finished goalless.
Lazio's Miroslav Klose was unable to break the deadlock at White Hart Lane as the teams finished goalless.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lazio fined $52,000 fine by UEFA for "improper conduct of the club's supporters"
  • Fine follows racist chanting by supporters during Europa League tie at Tottenham
  • Group of fans directed monkey chants at Spurs players
  • Lazio has three days to appeal against decision

Lazio has been hit with a $52,000 fine by UEFA following racist chanting by its supporters during the Europa League fixture with Tottenham last month.

The Italian club was heavily criticized after a group of away fans directed loud monkey chants at Spurs trio Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend.

The decision, which was taken by UEFA's Control and Disciplinary Body, must be appealed within three days if Lazio are to contest the fine.

UEFA to take action against Lazio

A statement on UEFA's website read: "UEFA's Control and Disciplinary Body has today fined S.S. Lazio €40,000 for the improper conduct of the club's supporters (racist behaviour) during the UEFA Europa League group stage match in London on Thursday 20 September between Tottenham Hotspur FC and the Italian side.

PFA chairman: Serbia should be banned
It is now nearly a year since Chelsea lost to QPR 1-0 in an English Premier League game at Loftus Road. During the game it was alleged QPR defender Anton Ferdinand swore at John Terry and made reference to the Chelsea captain's reported affair with the ex-partner of former team-mate Wayne Bridge. Terry is then said to have described Ferdinand as a "f***ing black c***". It is now nearly a year since Chelsea lost to QPR 1-0 in an English Premier League game at Loftus Road. During the game it was alleged QPR defender Anton Ferdinand swore at John Terry and made reference to the Chelsea captain's reported affair with the ex-partner of former team-mate Wayne Bridge. Terry is then said to have described Ferdinand as a "f***ing black c***".
Where it all began
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"An appeal may be lodged against this decision within three days of the dispatch of the reasoned decision."

The incident took place under the gaze of UEFA President Michel Platini, who was at the goalless draw in north London.

But the fine will do little to silence Platini's critics, who insist he is not tough enough when punishing those who continue to perpetrate acts of racism.

UEFA charge England and Serbia

With the world now waiting with baited breath to see what punishment UEFA hands out to the Serbian Football Association following the ugly scenes in Krusevac on Tuesday, Platini is under increasing pressure to repair the body's reputation.

Back in February of last year, Platini gave Serbia a grave warning that its clubs could be banned from competing in European competition if they continued to cause trouble.

Racism row shines light on Serbian football

England midfielder Danny Rose claims he was subjected to monkey chants before, during and after the second-leg of their Under-21 Euro 2013 playoff match against Serbia on Tuesday, and had stones thrown at him by the crowd in Krusevac. Fans also ran on to the pitch and scuffles broke out after a 1-0 win secured England qualification for Euro 2013. England midfielder Danny Rose claims he was subjected to monkey chants before, during and after the second-leg of their Under-21 Euro 2013 playoff match against Serbia on Tuesday, and had stones thrown at him by the crowd in Krusevac. Fans also ran on to the pitch and scuffles broke out after a 1-0 win secured England qualification for Euro 2013.
Serbia scuffles
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Mourinho: John Terry is not a racist

The Frenchman is now facing the pressure to back up his words by handing out severe punishments on the alleged abuse.

The likelihood of that remains somewhat open to question with UEFA even failing to mention the racist chanting by Serbian fans in the match report on its own website.

English player chief Carlisle calls for Serbia ban

Recent fines handed out by UEFA has also drawn criticism with offences which are perceived as less offensive than racism attracting higher financial penalties.

During Euro 2012, Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner was handed a $125,800 fine for revealing a betting company's logo on his underwear after lifting his shirt while celebrating a goal.

UEFA sees red over Bendtner's underpants

UEFA also handed out a larger fine to Chelsea following its semifinal defeat by Barcelona in 2009 after Didier Drogba confronted referee Tom Ovrebo after his failure to award the London club several penalties.

When it comes to punishment for racism, UEFA has imposed relatively small fines, which has left the governing body open to extreme criticism.

Back in 2002, the Slovakian Football Association was hit with a $29,000 fine after fans abused England duo Ashley Cole and Emile Heskey.

A year later, Cole, Heskey and Sol Campbell were abused while on England duty in Macedonia with the host FA being forced to pay a fine of $27,000.

In June 2007, the Football Association of Serbia was punished with a $27,000 fine after its fans racially abused England players during the Under-21 Championship Finals in Holland.

Crime and punishment in sport: Laying down the law?

The Croatian FA was made to pay just $16,000 after its fans were found guilty of "displaying a racist banner and showing racist conduct" during the Euro 2008 quarterfinal tie with Turkey.

In 2011, Bulgaria's FA was hit with a $54,000 fine after England's Ashley Young, Ashley Cole and Theo Walcott were racially abused during a Euro 2012 qualifier in Sofia.

Porto was fined $27,000 after its fans racially abused Manchester City's Mario Balotelli during a Europa League game last April.

That decision came a full six weeks after the incident and was then frowned upon further, after UEFA fined City $40,000 for coming out late ahead of the second-half of their last-16 Europa League game at Sporting Lisbon.

Both Russia ($39,000) and Spain ($26,000) were fined at Euro 2012 following problems of racism, but neither country was hit as hard in the pocket as Denmark striker Bendtner.

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