Uefa 'looking into' Balotelli banana claims
Balotelli has reportedly been targeted in both games so far
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Giovanni Trapattoni has said he is attempting to "keep a level of tension" within his Republic of Ireland squad before their first game of Euro 2012.
Saturday, 16, Jun 2012 11:54
By Rich Ward
European football's governing body Uefa has confirmed that it will be investigating reports that Italy striker Mario Balotelli was racially abused by Croatian supporters during Thursday's Group C clash.
A photographer reported that he witnessed a steward removing a banana from the pitch and heard monkey chants from a section of the crowd, just days after the same player was said to have been targeted by Spanish fans.
This seemed to be ratified by Football Against Racism in Europe (Fare) which said on Friday: "Fare observers report between 300 and 500 supporters of Croatia involved in racially abusing Mario Balotelli at last nights match in Poznan [sic]."
Following these claims, Uefa said it was "looking into the reports".
The chants aimed at Balotelli are not the only racist incidents which have reportedly occurred during the tournament, as Uefa is already investigating the abuse of Czech Republic defender Theodor Gebre Selassie during the match against Russia.
Before Euro 2012 started there were concerns about the treatment black players would receive at the tournament after a BBC Panorama investigation uncovered evidence of racism at football clubs in host nations Poland and Ukraine.