UEFA probing Balotelli racism claims
WARSAW - Agence France-Presse
Mario Balotelli (L) of Italy is intercepted by Spain's Sergio Ramos during the Group C preliminary round match of the UEFA EURO 2012 between Spain and Italy in Gdansk, Poland, 10 June 2012. EPA photo
UEFA on Tuesday said that it was investigating claims Italy striker Mario Balotelli was racially abused during the country's Euro 2012 Group C match against European champions Spain.
"Following the provision of new independent information today (Tuesday) regarding the two cases of alleged racist chanting in the Spain-Italy and Russia-Czech Republic matches, UEFA is now conducting further investigations," it said in a statement.
"There are, however, no disciplinary proceedings open at this moment in time." European football's governing body has already said it was investigating claims from a racism monitoring group that the Czech Republic's Theodor Gebre Selassie was targetted by Russian fans during their opening Group A match on Friday.
But Italy coach Cesare Prandelli on Monday rejected outright claims in a British newspaper that Spanish fans taunted Manchester City player Balotelli with monkey noises during the 1-1 draw in Gdansk, northern Poland.
"That's absolutely untrue," the Azzurri coach said at a news conference on Monday.
Balotelli, 21, has said that he would walk off the pitch if he were racially abused by fans.