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Wednesday, November 25, 1998 Published at 19:12 GMT

Sport: Football

UEFA rejects racist chants protest

England's trip to Stockholm ended in a 2-1 defeat

The Football Association has vowed to step up efforts to stamp racism out of the football after losing an appeal against a 28,000 fine imposed following England's game in Sweden.

The fine was imposed by European football's governing body, UEFA, after a section of England supporters were accused of racially abusing striker Henrik Larsson during the Euro 2000 qualifying match in Stockholm two months ago.

FA lawyers disputed that there had been any racist chanting, but UEFA's appeals body rejected an appeal against the fine following a hearing in Geneva.

A UEFA statement read: "The appeal was rejected following evidence presented by the referee, Pierluigi Collina, and the UEFA delegate at the match, Mattieu Sprengers, stressing that on at least eight occasions during the game English fans had directed racist chants at the Swedish player, Henrik Larsson."

Football Association lawyer Nick Coward said they were "disappointed" by the verdict.

"We still believe everything is done within English football to eradicate racism from the game. This does nothing more than strengthen our resolve," he added.

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