UEFA confirm Dutch camp fan protest but not racist

AFP, Thursday 7 Jun 2012

Media reports say protest at Dutch team's training ground in Krakow included monkey chants but squad members say they heard nothing of a racist nature

Dutch national soccer team players
Dutch national soccer team players (Photo: AP)

A small group of protesters targeted the Dutch team's training ground in the southern Polish city of Krakow, a senior UEFA official confirmed on Thursday, but denied the demonstrations were racist.

Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf had said that a handful of the 25,000 fans who turned up to watch the Oranje train had made monkey noises at the side's black players during the warm-up.

UEFA, which has a zero tolerance policy on racism at football grounds, said it had spoken to the Dutch squad and they said they had not seen or heard anything of a racist nature, the official told AFP.

But the official confirmed that some Polish supporters were unhappy at European football's governing body for not making Krakow one of the four Polish host cities for the tournament and made themselves heard.

One journalist from Dutch radio RNW, however, maintained that some of the short-lived protest that was cut short by stadium officials was racist.

Photos showed some fans with banners with a red line through the Euro 2012 logo.

The protest appeared to go unnoticed by the players and coaching staff.

Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk said afterwards: "I congratulate the spectators who created an extraordinary atmosphere in the stadium."

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