Feyenoord stunned by Gervinho race comments

The Eredivisie side remain adamant the throwing of the object was not an act of racism and claim they already explained the situation to the Ivorian

Feyenoord general manager Eric Gudde is stunned that Gervinho believes he was a victim of racial abuse in their Europa League game against Roma in February.

The Ivorian attacker is alleged to have called for severe punishment following an inflatable banana appearing to be thrown at him in the last 32 second leg in Rotterdam.

Uefa announced on Monday that Feyenoord are being charged with racist behaviour among other charges, including missiles being thrown in the direction of officials.

Gudde is hopeful the European football governing body will accept Feyenoord's explanation, however, and has stressed they have already told Gervinho there was no racist meaning behind the inflatable banana.

"It's very disappointing that we are being associated with racism. Feyenoord have never been linked with racism before. Our youth academy is as multicultural as it gets," Gudde told Algemeen Dagblad.

"Using inflatable objects is a tradition with our supporters. It's not related to racism. We have shown Uefa pictures and videos to make it clear the inflatable banana was part of a wider action from our team that creates the atmosphere at games.

"Inflatable balls and bananas were flying around in a section of fans in the 12th minute of the game against Roma, just like over 100 inflatable bananas were flying around during a game against Heracles.

"We explained all this to Gervinho and we got the feeling he understood the situation. Apparently, that was not the case, assuming his quotes are legitimate.

"We have two weeks to defend ourselves. We want to shake off this tag. This club has never been associated with racism and we want it to stay like that."

The case against Feyenoord will be heard by Uefa's control, ethics and disciplinary body on March 19.

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