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FIFA investigating German fans who wore blackface to Ghana match

The countries' federations are supposed to keep their players and fans in line, but this is the third instance of discriminatory behavior.
By Aileen Graef   |   June 23, 2014 at 4:44 PM   |   Comments

SAO PAULO, June 23 (UPI) -- FIFA promised Sunday that its disciplinary committee will investigate viral photographs posted on social media showing German fans wearing blackface during Germany's match against Ghana.

An Instagram user posted the photograph of German fans at the World Cup wearing black face paint with the caption: "So far I've counted 8 Germans in blackface. Worst, people are lining up to take pictures with them. Poor form, #Germany. #racism #racists #worldcup."

A FIFA spokeswoman said any evidence of discriminatory behavior will be evaluated by the disciplinary committee under its zero tolerance rules.

"We always take any evidence or submissions to our disciplinary committee. It is the disciplinary committee that will meet," she said. "If they see any grounds they will open proceedings. Then it is up to the disciplinary commission to take the decision."

This isn't the first incident of discrimination or racism at the World Cup. During the same match, a neo-Nazi sympathizer ran onto the pitch as he took his shirt off to reveal a pro-Nazi message written across his chest. Mexican fans are also under investigation for reportedly shouting homophobic slurs during their matches against Cameroon and Brazil.

"If something like a banner is spotted, it will be removed," said the FIFA spokeswoman. "If something is not spotted and someone has images of it, then if anyone submits evidence of those things then our disciplinary committee will consider it. We clearly have zero tolerance of any form of discrimination."

Follow @AileenGraef and @UPI on Twitter.
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