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FIFA probes Germany-Ghana incidents

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO - FIFA is investigating a possible racial discrimination case after photographs circulated of fans with blackface makeup at Germany's match against Ghana.

Images posted on social media networks showed two men, appearing to be Germany fans, with blackened faces in the Fortaleza stadium on Sunday.

FIFA said its disciplinary committee was considering opening a case. It would also consider a report by the FIFA match commissioner Eggert Magnusson of Iceland.

"We do not respect any discriminatory messages," FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer said.

FIFA holds national football federations responsible for their fans' behaviour inside stadiums.

In a second incident, a man ran onto the pitch in the second half of the 2-2 Group G draw. FIFA will be advised on Monday that he was neo-Nazi sympathiser.

The fans' anti-discrimination network, Fare, says it is preparing a report on Saturday's incident, when the shirtless fan interrupted play.

Slogans written on his chest and back included "HH", signifying Heil Hitler, and "SS", referring to the Nazi paramilitary unit.

"There would be no other explanation for it," Fare executive director Piara Powar told The Associated Press yesterday. "The question becomes how does one control an individual fan who chooses to mark his body and jumps on the pitch to propagate his neo-Nazi views."

The fan had an email address and telephone number written on his back. He was ushered away by Ghana midfielder Sulley Muntari before being detained by stewards.

Brazil's organising committee spokesman Saint-Clair Milesi said the man was reportedly from Poland.

"He came running, charged and jumped over the stewards," Milesi said.

"Such behaviour is totally unacceptable. He was taken to the local authorities for the proper measures."

Powar says Fare's report will also refer to the fans wearing blackface makeup at the match in Fortaleza with no intervention by stadium security.

FIFA says both incidents "are currently being analysed" by its disciplinary committee.

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