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UEFA football matches with a high risk of racial abuse are played without monitors

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European football matches at high risk of racist abuse have been played without independent observers despite UEFA’s commitment to eradicate abuse as the governing body failed to negotiate a contract with the monitoring organization

  • ITV News has discovered that UEFA’s deal with the FARE Network has expired
  • Eighty games have been played without monitors this season
  • FARE records abusive behavior and provides reports to the game’s administrators
  • It does have an agreement with FIFA and observers reported on England’s match against Hungary after racist insults were seen in Budapest in September.

Eighty ‘risky’ European football matches have gone on without independent monitors to record racism or other abuses after UEFA failed to agree a new contract with the monitoring organisation.

Despite racism being a top priority for football’s governing bodies, matches where abuse is suspected have not been scrutinized.

Since 2013, Football Against Racism in Europe, known as the FARE network, has recruited and trained independent spotters who attend matches and record abusive behavior among spectators.

Rangers have written to UEFA to complain about Glen Kamara’s treatment in Prague

The material, including accounts and recordings, will be used as evidence to hold clubs and fans accountable.

Under the agreement, FARE will conduct a risk assessment of each match and flag those encounters with a high risk of abuse. With UEFA’s approval, the organization then sends delegates to monitor progress.

However, ITV news has found that UEFA have failed to agree a new contract with FARE and no monitors have been sent to matches this season meaning 80 matches have been affected.

Last week, Rangers wrote to UEFA to complain about the treatment of Glen Kamara in their Europa League defeat to Sparta Prague.

Kamara was booed by a mob of mostly schoolchildren during the match, six months after he was racially abused by Ondrej Kudela of Sparta’s local rivals, Slavia Prague.

Kamara was booed by a mob mostly made up of school children against Sparta Prague

Kamara was booed by a mob mostly made up of school children against Sparta Prague

Sparta released a statement claiming that “baseless accusations of racism” were “ridiculous” despite the toxic atmosphere in the ground.

And Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek said he would summon British Ambassador Nick Archer about the incident. Kulhanek wrote on social media that “disgusting insults” aimed at “Czech children” could damage relations between the countries.

In similar incidents, FARE’s independent observers have proved particularly valuable.

FARE does have a contract with the international sports organization FIFA, and observers attended England’s World Cup qualifier to Hungary in September.

Winger Sterling was subjected to monkey chants by parts of the Budapest home crowd

Winger Sterling was subjected to monkey chants by parts of the Budapest home crowd

Monitors filed a report with FIFA after the Budapest match, which was marred by racial abuse of England players, including monkey chants directed at Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham.

After that match, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Sziijarto was also vocal on social media to defend fans.

UEFA told ITV: ‘The contract with FARE to provide match observers is currently being renewed and therefore no outside observers have been deployed to UEFA matches.

“Nevertheless, FARE continues to report alleged incidents to UEFA.

‘In the same way, all UEFA officials, eg UEFA delegate, UEFA security officer, etc., submit a post-match incident report to UEFA.

‘As soon as the discussions with FARE are concluded, their normal services will be resumed.’

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