FA 'Has Plans For Tackling Euro 2012 Racism'

Ian Dovaston, sports news correspondent
FA 'Has Plans For Tackling Euro 2012 Racism'

Uefa has given assurances to FA chairman David Bernstein that everything will be done within stadia at Euro 2012 to clampdown on racism.

The FA has planned "contingencies" in Poland and the Ukraine to deal with the kind of racist incidents highlighted by a BBC Panorama programme this week.

But Bernstein - who accepted previous manager Fabio Capello's resignation after the FA stripped John Terry of the captaincy over ongoing allegations of racism - has refused to say what those contingencies are.

"Nobody could take these issues more seriously than we do," he said.

"There are underlying issues and we have planned very carefully."

Asked if the contingencies might include players walking off the pitch, as Italy and Manchester City player Mario Balotelli has threatened to do, Bernstein said he did not want to get into the detail.

The chairman - who was appointed after England's dismal World Cup showing at South Africa 2010 - was enjoying a Vauxhall-sponsored golf day with manager Roy Hodgson and his players in Hertfordshire.

His hope is that the England squad can be "more open, more confident", but the chairman could not avoid questions about the possibility of racist abuse being directed at England's players at the European Championships.

Balotelli had earlier waded into the debate, saying he would "kill" anyone who threw a banana at him.

Bernstein would not be drawn on those comments, but made it clear the issue of potential racism has been discussed at a high level.

"We've got contingency plans," he said.

"Heaven forbid we should need them. We're hopeful they're things that we don't need to use."

Relatives of Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have chosen not to travel to Poland and the Ukraine because of security concerns.

"People have to make their own decisions," said Bernstein.

"On many occasions (these are) based on government advice."

But he sympathised with the decision of Uefa to take these championships to Poland and the Ukraine, despite well-documented problems of racism.

"These are new territories," he said.

"Uefa and Fifa are keen to move into the new world. Let's see what happens. We go in confidently and positively."