UEFA to investigate Porto over racism claims

Uefa are set to look into Manchester City’s claims that the Estadio do Dragao faithful racially abused some of the visiting players when Porto hosted the Premier League leaders in the Europa League last week.

Mario Balotelli and Yaya Toure both claimed to have been targeted by the Portuguese crowd, with chants and taunts aimed at the black players.

Uefa have released a statement admitting that due to the seriousness of the accusations further action will be taken.

“Following a complaint lodged by Manchester City FC, Uefa has today opened disciplinary proceedings against FC Porto for the improper conduct of supporters during their Uefa Europa League round of 32 first-leg match against Manchester City FC last week,” a statement on the organisation’s website reads.

“The UEFA control and disciplinary body will deal with the case on 29 March.”

Meanwhile, the Portuguese champions have defended their supporters, with coach Vitor Pereira claiming that the chants were wrongly interpreted.

“I did not hear any racist comment. So I cannot comment on what I did not hear, I have no idea,” Pereira stated in a press conference, recorded on Sky Sports.

“I hear very often, and Hulk is here so he can comment on that, our supporters many times say, ‘Hulk, Hulk, Hulk’, but they are referring to our forward of great quality, as a way of motivating him.

“I was focused only on the match, to see what was happening inside the four lines, and I did not notice any comment that could force the club to make any apologies,” he commented.

By Gareth McKnight

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