IN SHORT

Blair weighs in on race debate

BRITISH Prime Minister Tony Blair has appealed to the Slovak Football Association to take strict measures against fans who abused England's black players Emile Heskey and Ashley Cole at a recent European Championships qualifier match in Bratislava.

Speaking in the British parliament on October 16, Blair condemned the "disgraceful" treatment of England players in Slovakia.

"We must make sure that [racism] does not come back into the game here in our own country but also I hope the football authorities do take very firm action in respect of any country where this type of racism rears its head," he said.

"The scenes in Slovakia were disgraceful and I hope the authorities there take the appropriate action against those responsible."

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