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FIFA fine Spain over racist chants

England's Ashley Cole in the game that has cost the Spanish a hefty fine

ZURICH, Switzerland -- The Spanish Football Federation was fined 100,000 Swiss francs ($87,340) by FIFA on Tuesday for the racist chanting of its fans at the friendly against England in Madrid last month.

World ruling body FIFA announced the punishment on Tuesday following a meeting of its disciplinary committee.

Several black England players were subjected to monkey noises and other abusive chants from the crowd during their 1-0 defeat at the Bernabeu stadium on November 17.

The punishment also took into account racist abuse at the under-21 match the previous evening.

FIFA, which has adopted a strong anti-racism stance, warned in a statement that any repeat of the racist behaviour could result in Spain playing behind closed doors or expulsion from one or several FIFA competitions.

"FIFA's disciplinary commission has decided to fine the Spanish football federation 100,000 Swiss francs to sanction the racism shown by the Spain supporters during the two friendly matches against England on November 16 and 17," a FIFA spokesman said.

"In the event of a repeat of that behaviour the Spanish federation has been warned that it faces having to play one or several matches behind closed doors, or being excluded from one or several FIFA competitions."

A furore erupted over the treatment of England's players in Madrid, with some sections of the crowd racially abusing the likes of Ashley Cole, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Jermaine Jenas.

Deplorable racism

"Following the deplorable acts of racism which occurred in Madrid last month, The FA expressed its strong views and concerns to FIFA, UEFA and the Spanish Federation in writing," said an English FA statement on Tuesday.

"At that time The FA stated very clearly that it was ultimately FIFAs responsibility to determine what disciplinary action should be taken.

"The FA must accept FIFA's decision to fine the Spanish FA 100,000 Swiss Francs.

"The FA is firmly committed to fighting racism in football at all levels of the game. We will continue to adopt a zero tolerance approach to any racist behaviour in English football and whenever any of our teams play abroad.

"Racism is the scourge of the game and it is the responsibility of all who care about football to do everything within their power to eradicate it."

The Spanish Football Federation is still investigating the behaviour of national team coach Luis Aragones after his controversial comments about Arsenal's black French player Thierry Henry and England's colonial past before the match.

Earlier this month, European governing body UEFA fined Real Madrid euro9,780 ($13,023) for racist behavior by its supporters at the Champions League game against Bayer Leverkusen on November 23.

Some people in the crowd made Nazi salutes and taunted Leverkusen's black players.

Last week, Spain's Anti-Violence Commission fined two fans euro6,000 ($7,900) and banned them from entering sporting grounds for five months for making monkey chants against Barcelona's Cameroon star Samuel Eto'o.

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