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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 October 2006, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK
Mijailovic ban for McCarthy abuse
Benni McCarthy
McCarthy was subjected to racist abuse
Wisla Krakow defender Nikola Mijailovic has been banned for five Uefa matches for the racial abuse of Blackburn striker Benni McCarthy.

The Serbian was found guilty of the offence that took place when the sides met on 19 October, by European football's governing body Uefa.

The 24-year-old was charged based on a complaint by Blackburn, the FA and match referee Stefan Johannesson.

Mijailovic, who denied the allegations, has until Monday to appeal.

Blackburn welcomed the outcome of the case.

"Firstly, we appreciate Uefa's speed in dealing with this important issue," said a statement on the club website.

"Secondly, we believe that Uefa's decision sends out a clear message that racism will not, and should not, be tolerated in the game."

Piara Powar, a spokesman for anti-racism campaigners Kick It Out, added: "A ban for five matches is strong stuff and very welcome.

"It is the sort of sanction that people across Europe will think, 'There is a message to be learned here'.

"The concern in the past has been that many incidents have gone unpunished.

"It is time we were able to demonstrate that racism is being challenged in European football.

"Uefa are doing a lot of work in this field and this guy (Mijailovic) has been nailed in the right way.

"It seems that Blackburn and other officials were able to produce eye-witness evidence, allowing action to be taken."

McCarthy apparently approached Johannesson at half-time but alleged that the taunts continued.

"Benni was upset by a number of personal comments directed at him by one of their players," Blackburn boss Mark Hughes said last week.

"It happened right throughout the game. Benni, to his credit, did not react to them and he highlighted the issue to a number of Krakow players and the referee at half-time.

"The situation still developed and there were more comments at the end of the game."

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