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  Friday, 4 October, 2002, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
Uefa probes Finidi abuse claims
Finidi George fends off a challenge from Sartid's Milorad Zecevic
Finidi George was also the victim of racist abuse

Uefa has agreed to investigate claims that Ipswich Town's Marcus Bent and Finidi George were subjected to racist taunts during the team's 1-0 Uefa Cup defeat of Sartid.

Bent scored the goal which sealed an aggregate 2-1 first-round win over the Yugoslav side.

"It was a hostile crowd. There was a lot of racist abuse, a lot of spitting when you went near the crowd," Bent told BBC Radio Five Live.

"But the boys dealt with it, I dealt with it and all that really matters is that we came away with a 1-0 win."


They are quite backward in their thinking and something should be done
Finidi George

A Uefa spokesman said: "We are aware of what happened and we are going to investigate."

The Football Association has announced that it will be seeking urgent talks with Uefa after several England-based players suffered racist abuse in European club competitions.

European football's governing body is already looking into alleged abuse and missile throwing directed at Arsenal players during September's Champions league victory at PSV Eindhoven.

It is also looking into complaints from Fulham over their Uefa Cup tie at Hajduk Split and Liverpool's treatment at Valencia in the Champions League.

"We need to step up the way in which we are looking at this issue - it is a worrying trend that it is the English clubs who seem to be suffering the most," said David Davies, the FA's director of international strategy.

"We will sit down with UEFA to find new initiatives to tackle this problem."

George, Ipswich's Nigerian winger, was also singled out by the hostile crowd in Yugoslavia and said action should be taken to prevent a repeat occurence in the future.

"I could hear them all the time - it was not pleasant at all," he said.

"It's not the worst I have had - but it was still pretty bad, they are quite backward in their thinking and something should be done."

Uefa is meeting next Thursday in Nyon to discuss the problem of players being racially abused.

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BBC Five Live's Mike Sewell
"This is the fourth racism complaint in a fortnight"

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