The mayor of Krakow in southern Poland wrote to UEFA rejecting
all claims that some fans racially abused Dutch players during a
public training session before Euro 2012, AFP learnt on Tuesday.
The Netherlands captain Mark van Bommel said on June 8 that the
players heard monkey chants during the practice two days earlier,
which forced coach Bert van Marwijk to take the squad to the
other side of the pitch.
European football's governing body UEFA reacted by writing to the
mayors of host cities in Poland and Ukraine, asking them to take
steps "to prevent discriminatory or racist behaviour at open
But the mayor of Krakow, Jacek Majchrowksi, responded in a letter
to UEFA general-secretary Gianni Infantino two days later, saying
that he was astonished at the accusations.
"None of the people responsible for the organisation of the open
training session... noticed any racist behaviour," he said in the
letter, a copy of which was obtained by AFP on Tuesday.
"Krakow police went through the video monitoring records at the
stadium, as well as through media records of the training -- the
theory of alleged manifestations of racism has not been confirmed
by any of these sources."
After the claims were first reported in the Dutch media, UEFA
initially said that they had no reports of racist chanting at the
training session and that the Dutch football federation had not
made a formal complaint.
Instead, it said that some Polish fans were unhappy at UEFA for
not making Krakow one of the four Polish host cities for the
But after van Bommel's comments, UEFA announced it had written to
the host cities requesting a tightening of procedures and
Majchrowksi said the allegations were "extremely unfair" and
"harmful to the image of our city", which had a proud tradition
"The crowds of Krakow... do not deserve the constantly repeated
false allegations of a reputed racist incident during the Dutch
representation's training session," he wrote.
The build-up to Euro 2012 was overshadowed by fears of racist
violence, after a BBC television documentary showed images of
football fans in both host nations making Nazi salutes and monkey
noises at black players plus an attack on Asian students.
UEFA has since had to deal with racist chanting by supporters,
the most high-profile being by Croatia fans against Italy's Mario
Balotelli during their Group B match Poznan, Poland, last
The Croatian football federation was fined 80,000 euros
($100,000, 64,500 pounds) on Tuesday.