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FIFA receives complaint over racist chants from England fans

A pan-European anti-racism organization has informed football's governing body of complaints made against fans after offensive songs were heard during the game in San Marino

Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) has sent a complaint to FIFA over alleged racist chants by England fans during their nation's World Cup qualifier against San Marino on Friday.

The chants were directed at Anton Ferdinand and his brother Rio, who rejected Roy Hodgson's call up and instead appeared as a pundit on Qatari television.

Offensive songs referring to the IRA and the Second World War were also heard, but FARE insist that it is the Ferdinand chants that are under the microscope.

"We have sent a report in relation to racist chanting towards Ferdinand and his brother," a FARE spokesperson said.

"It's under FIFA jurisdiction so in the end it's their decision whether they open proceedings or not."

England now faces the prospect of a large fine, while Hungary and Bulgaria were forced to play recent qualifiers behind closed doors as punishment for offensive chants.

Piara Power, head of FARE, suggested that this punishment is unlikely, but admitted that FIFA has been cracking down on crowd behavior recently.

"In this case it’s FIFA’s process," Power told the Daily Mail. "They see whether the evidence hits the standard to take forward a prosecution.

"FIFA, in the last couple of incidents they’ve dealt with, have shown a stronger side. They banned Hungary and Bulgaria from playing with fans last Friday. Forced them to play behind closed doors.

"That’s quite rare to have a major tournament qualifier behind closed doors. The last two incidents we reported FIFA showed a very strong hand."

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