European football matches at high risk of racist abuse were played without independent observers in place – despite UEFA’s commitment to eliminate the abuse – as the contract was not made with the monitoring organization
- ITV News found out that UEFA’s deal with FARE network has expired
- Eighty games have been played this season without monitors in place
- FARE records abusive behavior and provides reports to game administrators
- He has a deal in place with FIFA and monitors reported England’s game in Hungary after racist abuse was seen in Budapest in September
UEFA faces new charges over its commitment to tackle racism after failing to detain observers who identify fans guilty of offensive and discriminatory views.
The governing body of European football has not yet renewed its contract with the Football against racism in Europe (FARE), with 80 high-risk games going this season unattended.
Since 2013, FARE has appointed and trained up to 180 match observers. They attend games undercover and report incidents of discrimination, including racism, homophobia, xenophobia and anti-Semitism.
Rangers wrote to UEFA to complain about Glen Kamara’s treatment in Prague
But the stalemate has left UEFA without its essential services, leaving every game so far this season where such abuse in the stands is expected to go unattended.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin had previously insisted his organization was ready to be tough on racism – although his stance on the FARE deal has rekindled doubts.
Sportsmail It has been said that the problem has been brewing since the end of Euro 2020. A split in the UEFA hierarchy is suspected, underlining different priorities in the fight against racism and discrimination.
Kamara was booed by a crowd of mostly schoolchildren against Sparta Prague
It is also understood that the proposed contract would leave FARE out of pocket, as the terms suggested by UEFA are lower than what it costs the network to operate the program.
Over the course of a year, FARE representatives would be present at around 800 matches. Last Thursday alone there were racist incidents in four matches that FARE would have otherwise attended, including the Rangers Europa League game at Sparta Prague where midfielder Glen Kamara was targeted.
Instead, UEFA has been forced to rely on information from its own staff – whose main tasks are to help organize the match – and on images transmitted to them or appearing online.
FARE also helps fund 200 groups across Europe that use football to fight discrimination and are involved in projects that help highlight issues related to lack of diversity in various areas of the game.
Winger Sterling was subjected to monkey chants by sections of the crowd in Budapest
This vital work is now in danger.
UEFA hopes that a compromise can be found in the coming days and said: “The contract with FARE for the supply of match observers is being renewed and therefore no external observers have been deployed to the matches. of UEFA.
“Nevertheless, FARE continues to submit reports of suspected incidents to UEFA. Likewise, all UEFA officials, for example the UEFA delegate, the UEFA security officer, etc., submit a post-match report containing the incidents to UEFA.
“Once discussions with FARE are over, their normal service will resume.”
FARE has an existing deal with FIFA guaranteeing that they will cover a number of World Cup qualifying matches over the next fortnight.
The monitors submitted a report to FIFA after the match in Budapest, which was marred by racist abuse against English players, including monkey chants directed at Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham.
After the match, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Sziijarto also spoke on social media to defend the fans.
UEFA told ITV: “The contract with FARE for the supply of match observers is being renewed and therefore no external observers have been deployed to UEFA matches.
“Nonetheless, FARE continues to submit reports of suspected incidents to UEFA. Likewise, all UEFA officials, for example the UEFA delegate, UEFA security officer UEFA, etc., submit a post-match incident report to UEFA and once discussions with FARE are over, their normal service will resume.