Sport : Football

AVB confident UEFA will act

21st September 2012, 01:09am

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Villas-Boas: Impressed with the performance

Villas-Boas: Impressed with the performance

Andre Villas-Boas is sure that UEFA will come down hard on any Lazio fans who are found to have racially abused Tottenham's players in Thursday night's Europa League clash at White Hart Lane.

Loud monkey-chanting was heard to come from the away end on several occasions directed against Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend in the Group J clash, which ended 0-0 after three Spurs goals were controversially ruled out.

Villas-Boas said he did not hear the chants himself, but he would encourage UEFA, whose head Michel Platini was at tonight's game, to take any action if it is proven that the travelling fans did in fact hurl racist abuse.

"I think (UEFA will act if the accusations are proven)," Villas-Boas said in his post-match press conference.

"UEFA is very active on this kind of situation so and our overall objective is to kick racism out of football.

"I can't point the finger at anyone in any way shape or form tonight because I didn't hear anything. It's for the authorities to follow up in any kind of investigation."

The anti-racism group FARE posted a link on their Twitter feed giving Spurs fans the chance to report any chants they heard from the away end and UEFA have fined clubs in the past for racist incidents.

Tottenham also operate a strict zero tolerance policy when it comes to racism.

Away from the racism furore, Villas-Boas was left to reflect on another disappointing night.

The Portuguese was happy with his team's performance, but he was far from thrilled with that of referee Ovidiu Alin Hategan.

The Romanian ruled out three goals, two of which looked perfectly legal.

In the first half Clint Dempsey's diving header was ruled out for offside even though he looked level and after the interval Steven Caulker was denied his first Spurs goal for supposedly climbing on Stefano Mauri's back before heading in a cross.

"We managed to put the ball in to net three times today but unfortunately because of from mistakes from the ref we couldn't get the goals we certainly deserved," said the Portuguese, who also saw a Gareth Bale effort ruled out for offside.

"Mauri is one of the strongest Lazio players in the air and Caulker beat him in the air and scored a legal goal so we don't see anything (wrong).

"That situation disappoints us."

Dempsey, making his full debut following a £6million move from Fulham, thought his goal should have stood.

He said: "I thought I was level with the line, it was a good ball from Bale and as it went in I thought I'd opened my account but it was waved offside.

"That's the way it goes sometimes, they defended well, set up to counter-attack and were tough to break down.

"But we had some chances and were unlucky not to get the goal tonight."

Other than a period of pressure towards the end of the first half in which Alvaro Gonzalez hit the bar, Lazio struggled to get in to the game despite arriving in London on the back of a five-match winning streak.

Villas-Boas, who also gave a debut to France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, was therefore happy with the overall display from his team.

"I am very very happy with performance," the 34-year-old said.

"We played extremely well and we are extremely happy with the effort we put in."

Lazio head coach Vladimir Petkovic, who says he did not hear any racist chanting from his team's supporters, thought a draw was a just outcome, however.

"At times we did find ourselves under pressure but we also put pressure on Tottenham too," the Bosnian said.

"We created a couple of chances but I think 0-0 was a fair result."

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