London: Tottenham Hotspurs manager Andre Villas-Boas has asked for an inquiry by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) into the alleged racial abuses hurled at Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon by Italian team Lazio’s fans during their goalless draw in a Europe League tie at White Hart Lane on Thursday.
Both Defoe and Lennon appeared to be subjected to monkey taunts from the visiting section during the second-half of the game and Spurs will decide on Friday whether to lodge a formal complaint with UEFA.
After numerous claims about the incident on social media, FARE, which is a network of anti-discrimination and social inclusion groups in football, immediately released details to help fans report supporters of the Italian club.
Villas-Boas claimed neither he nor his players heard the chants, but acknowledged that there had to be an investigation if the allegations were proven.
“I didn’t hear anything, and it is for the authorities to follow any kind of investigation. I wasn’t aware of what happened, and the players were also focused on the game,” the Telegraph quoted Villas-Boas, as saying.
“But if the charges are proven then I think Uefa has to investigate. Uefa are very active in this kind of situation, and the overall objective is to kick racism out of football,” he added.
First Published: Friday, September 21, 2012, 18:28