Patrick Vieira has accused UEFA of hypocrisy for their failure to act against racism in football after several Arsenal players were racially abused by Valencia supporters during last night’s Champions League defeat at the Mestalla Stadium.
The game – won 2-1 by Valencia – was marred by racist chants which led at one point to Valencia striker John Carew appealing to the crowd to halt their abuse.
The Arsenal captain accused UEFA of doing little to combat the spectre of racism within the game.
‘John Carew has apologised to me for the behaviour of the fans,’ said Vieira.
‘But UEFA are hypocrites – they keep saying they will do something about it but all they are doing is fining clubs œ2,000-3,000 and nothing really happens.
‘It is just words. I don’t think anything will be done about it – it will never change. We have to deal with it and we’ve come to expect it.’
And Carew added: ‘It’s something that shouldn’t happen at a football ground but unfortunately it does.’
Valencia coach Rafa Benitez denied racism was a problem among supporters.
‘Carew made a point of asking the crowd to shut up,’ Benitez said.
‘His attitude was outstanding.
‘I don’t think there was too much too it, though. The Mestalla crowd is very respectful.’