Spanish football in new 'racist chants' scandal
10 January 2005, MADRID-Spanish football faced new shame over racist chants at one of the biggest games of the season.
10 January 2005
MADRID-Spanish football faced new shame over racist chants at one of the biggest games of the season.
Atletico Madrid could be punished by the Spanish FA after racist chanting during the defeat to city rivals Real.
Real full-back Roberto Carlos was the main target for abuse at Atletico's Vicente Calderon stadium.
Club officials put out a request over the loudspeaker asking for the abuse to stop but the plea was ignored.
Real eventually won the game 3-0 thanks to two goals from Ronaldo and another from Santiago Solari.
England's Shaun Wright-Phillips and Ashley Cole were abused during a friendly against Spain at Real Madrid's Bernabeu stadium in November.
And Spain's national coach Luis Aragones is being investigated by the Spanish FA over racist comments he made about Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry.
Meanwhile, before the Real-Atletico game, the Spanish government spread the word about the European Union constitution.
Around 70,000 football fans were given information about the constitution before the Real-Atletico match.
The move was part of the publicity campaign ahead of a referendum on the proposed text next month.
For many, it was an unusual start to a football match.
Instead of 22 beefy sportsmen on the pitch, the 70,000 spectators in Madrid's Vincente Calderon stadium watched a procession of 25 Spanish schoolchildren, each carrying the flag of an EU member state as they listened to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony - the EU's anthem.
Atletico Madrid's President Enrique Cerezo said he thought it was a great idea.
Football, with its mass following, he says, is an ideal medium to spread a message.
Spain's football clubs are trying to encourage fans to vote in the referendum because the EU constitution is vital for the future of Europe.
Information pamphlets on the EU constitution are to be handed out at all Spanish first and second division matches in the lead up to the referendum on 20 February.
The Spanish government knows it is a race against time.
Opinion polls show up to 90 percent of Spaniards know little or nothing about the EU constitution.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news