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UEFA investigate banana thrown on to pitch during Italy against Croatia as possible racism

Written By Koka Albert on Saturday, June 16, 2012 | 4:49 AM

Mario Balotelli was at the centre of another racism row as UEFA investigate claims of abuse by Croatia fans.
European football's governing body are examining allegations of monkey chants and that a banana was hurled onto the pitch during Italy's 1-1 draw with Croatia in Poznan on Thursday.
Incident: A steward holds a banana thrown onto the pitch
                           Incident: A steward holds a banana thrown onto the pitch

The Manchester City forward, who before Euro 2012 said he would 'kill' anyone who racially abused him and walk off the pitch in protest, is already the subject of one probe.

UEFA are investigating reports that the 21-year-old was racially abused during Italy's game against Spain, but the evidence against Croatia has been gathered by an independent body. 

A group calling itself 'FARE' (Football Against Racism in Europe) took to Twitter. 

They wrote: 'FARE observers report between 300 and 500 supporters of Croatia involved in racially abusing Mario Balotelli at last night's match in Poznan.
Retrieval: The banana is picked up
                                         Retrieval: The banana is picked up
'UEFA received the observers' reports this afternoon. We are working with them to provide as much information as possible.' 

UEFA confirmed receipt of the report which, along with racist chanting, alleges that a photographer witnessed a steward retrieving a banana from the pitch.
Fury: Mario Balotelli said he will 'kill' anyone who throws bananas at him
                  Fury: Mario Balotelli said he will 'kill' anyone who throws bananas at him

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has rejected claims that Balotelli was abused against Spain and maintained he was unaware of further problems, saying: 'No, I haven't seen anything.' 

The Italian Football Federation confirmed that a photograph which appeared to show the banana being cleared had been forwarded to them, adding that no-one from their delegation witnessed the incident.
A spokesman said: 'There's not any official complaint at the moment.'
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