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Partizan apologize for anti-Semetic banner, UEFA looking into it

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Srdjan Stevanovic

UEFA have opened disciplinary proceedings against Partizan Belgrade for an anti-Semetic banner fans displayed in Thursday's Europa League match against Tottenham Hotspur. The scoreless draw was overshadowed by the behavior of the fans, who were undoubtedly loud and boisterous, but also disgusting.

The proceedings are not limited to just the banner. UEFA said that they are "for racist behavior of their supporters, field invasions by supporters, setting-off of fireworks and use of laser pointer. The case will be dealt by the UEFA control, ethics and disciplinary body on 3 October."

Mauricio Pochettino spoke out against the banner after the match, calling it "disrespectful and unacceptable. The Serbian SuperLiga did the same, calling it "worthless."

Partizan have also condemned their fans' actions and vowed to do their best to track down whoever was involved, then take every action they can against them.

The message displayed on that banner is completely opposite to preferences and opinions of almost all citizens of Serbia and Partizan fans.

It is absolutely absurd to link a club that was founded after the WWII on anti-fascist principles and after the battle of people of Europe with antisemitism and similar dark and anti-civilization impulses.

We fully condemn perpetrators of this mindless act, not only of antisemitic nature, but one that represents hatred of Partizan and Serbia as well.

We believe this vicious action will not spoil our sporting friendship with Tottenham and football aficionados in Great Britain. In cooperation with competent authorities, Partizan FC will do everything to locate, trial and ban those perpetrators from sporting fields.

We apologise to everyone who found themselves insulted and upset by this banner. Once again, we point out that such banner message is completely opposite to history and tradition of our club, and our fans' aspirations.

Unfortunately, anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia, sexism and all kinds of other terrible things are still prevalent in the world and they come out in football regularly. This was another example of it. Hopefully, it can be stamped out at some point in our lifetime.