England fans accused of racism

England have been reported to FIFA by anti-racism body FARE after fans sang abusive songs about Rio and Anton Ferdinand during the match against San Marino.

A number of England supporters joined in the singing of a song suggesting the brothers should be burned on a bonfire – it has been suggested the song had racist overtones because Anton Ferdinand was the target of racist abuse from former England captain John Terry.

Rio Ferdinand was vilified by fans after withdrawing from the England squad to play the game because it did not fit in with his “intricate” and “pre-planned” training programme, although he then travelled to Qatar to commentate on England’s 8-0 victory.

FARE’s executive director Piara Powar told the Press Association: “Although we did not have observers at the match we have pulled together evidence sent to us including media comment and have passed that on to FIFA.

“I think that it’s one of those things that is very subtle. We would say racism and other forms of discrimination is not always banana throwing and monkey chants. It can be very subtle and the people collating the reports believed it is strong enough to send on to FIFA.

“From the reports we have seen I personally think there was an undercurrent of race there, and other people have thought that it has been imbued with racist overtones.

“Whether FIFA think that is strong enough to take action is another question entirely and we accept that it is certainly an unusual report.”

FARE have also reported racist or xenophobic incidents at the Croatia v Serbia and Poland v Ukraine matches.

A Football Association spokesman claimed the organisation has received no official notification of any complaint.

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