FA chief condemns racist abuse
Football Association chairman David Bernstein has condemned the monkey-chanting aimed at Tottenham's players in their defeat against Inter Milan on Thursday night.
Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor was subjected to the racist chanting on several occasions during his team's 4-1 defeat to Inter, while one home fan was also seen waving an inflatable banana.
Despite repeated attempts by UEFA and FIFA to stamp out racism in football, the problem keeps rearing its head and Bernstein admits the regularity of such abuse is worrying for the game. "I condemn the racist abuse that Tottenham Hotspur players suffered at last night's Europa League fixture in Milan," Bernstein said in a statement on the FA's website.
"It is unacceptable and concerning that clubs in Europe have had to endure recurrences of abuse this season. I am sure UEFA will take appropriate action but it also reminds us of the need to work collectively across national and international football authorities to deal with this serious issue, as we are also doing in this country.
"This is a matter I will take up as a priority with the new FIFA anti-racism and discrimination task force when I meet its head Jeffrey Webb in the near future."
Although progress has been made since the days when black players were regularly abused from the terraces in the 1970s and 1980s, incidences of racist chanting continue to occur.
AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng walked off during his team's friendly against Pro Patria after he was racially abused.
The England Under-21 side were also subjected to monkey chants during their qualifier in Serbia.
Inter's fans have been serial offenders. Inter were fined £43,000 for waving inflatable bananas and unfurling abusive banners aimed at Mario Balotelli and his team-mate Sulley Muntari in last month's Milan derby while the club also received a £12,900 fine after sections of their support sang racist chants about the former Manchester City striker during a game against Chievo.
UEFA has come in for criticism for what many deem unsatisfactory punishments concerning racism, although it did recently order Lazio to play two games behind closed doors after repeated incidents of racist chanting among their support.