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UEFA fines Slovak, UK football associations

UEFA, the European football association has fined English and Slovak football associations over racist chanting and crowd trouble at an October 12 European Championships 2004 qualifier match between the two teams in Bratislava.

The Slovak Football Association (SFZ) has to pay 60,000 Swiss francs ($42,000) for the racist chanting of some Slovak fans at Bratislava's football stadium during the match.

SFZ president Frantisek Laurinec said that he thought UEFA had recently become "very strict" in its rulings on similar cases.

He said, however, that the SFZ had expected financial punishment and added that his FA has to "take measures so that in the future we don't have to throw away money in vain".

Following the match England's black players Emile Heskey and Ashley Cole were reported to have complained that the chanting was the worst racist abuse they had ever experienced.

The English Football Association was ordered to pay 20,000 francs ($14,000) for their fans' bad behaviour. During half time, England fans erupted into violence and Slovak police had to pacify the crowd with batons.

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