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Wed Apr 16 09:25:45 SAST 2014

UEFA to investigate banana-throwing reports

Reuters | 16 June, 2012 09:280 Comments
Croatia's Nikica Jelavic (L) is tackled by Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during their Group C Euro 2012 soccer match at the city stadium in Poznan, June 14, 2012
Image by: Dominic Ebenbichler / REUTERS

UEFA is investigating reports that a banana was thrown on to the pitch during Italy’s 1-1 draw against Croatia in the Euro 2012 Group C match in Poznan on Thursday, European soccer’s governing body said on Friday. 

Racism was a major source of concern in Poland and Ukraine before the tournament and Italy striker Mario Balotelli said he would “kill” anyone who threw bananas at him in the street or walk off the pitch if he heard monkey noises during a match.  

An Italy spokesman said there had been no official protest because no one in the Italian camp was aware of the reports.  

Italy did complain to UEFA about their anthem being booed by Spain and Croatia fans before the first two matches in the tournament and the ruling body is also investigating reports that Balotelli was racially abused during the opening game against the Spanish.

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