Half of the maximum fine
The committee decided to impose half of the maximum fine for incidents of this kind, as referee Víctor Esquinas Torres had asked the club to send a message out on the public address system requesting that fans refrain from racial abuse. The committee also welcomed Zaragoza's press release condemning the crowd's behaviour. The club have also opened an investigation to identify the culprits.
Zaragoza have suffered previous punishment for racist conduct at La Romareda stadium. Other cases involved a €6,000 fine for comments made to Real Madrid CF full-back Roberto Carlos and Robert of Real Betis Balompié. Spain's secretary of state for sports, Jaime Lissavetzky, says tougher fines for racist acts cannot be ruled out in the future.
Elsewhere, a message from Pope Benedict XVI against racism and every form of social discrimination will be read out just before kick-off in tonight's friendly international between Italy and Germany at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence. The German Pope has taken the opportunity to send a message in support of solidarity and against racial intolerance. It will be delivered by the archbishop of Florence, Claudio Magnago.
A number of other positive initiatives have been taken to mark the Italy-Germany friendly. The Italian Football Federation (FIGC), in co-operation with the German Consulate in Florence, has organised a match between children of various nationalities in Piazza Santa Croce. A delegation from the Italy squad has also visited young patients at the Mayer hospital in the city.
Franchi merit award
Before the game, meanwhile, a FIFA merit honour will be presented to Alda Franchi, widow of the former UEFA President Artemio Franchi, in memory of her husband who died in a road accident in 1983 after serving at UEFA's helm since 1973.
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