Feyenoord have vowed to clear their name after being charged with racist behaviour by their fans during the Europa League tie with Roma in February.

  • By Michael Bell
  • Follow Michael on Twitter

0000 feybanaThe charge came after an inflatable banana landed on the pitch at De Kuip near Roma attacker Gervinho, which led to the match being stopped while an official removed the blow up fruit.

UEFA charged Feyenoord on Monday, while Gervinho himself called for the club to be heavily punished.

Feyenoord general manager Eric Gudde has admitted he is shocked by the charge after the club explained to Gervinho that inflatable banana’s are common place among the fans, and unrelated to racism.

Gudde told AD that they will fight the charge, “It’s very disappointing that we are being associated with racism. Feyenoord have never been linked with racism before. Our youth academy is as multicultural as it gets,”

“Using inflatable objects is a tradition with our supporters. It’s not related to racism. We have shown Uefa pictures and videos to make it clear the inflatable banana was part of a wider action from our team that creates the atmosphere at games.

“Inflatable balls and bananas were flying around in a section of fans in the 12th minute of the game against Roma, just like over 100 inflatable bananas were flying around during a game against Heracles.

“We explained all this to Gervinho and we got the feeling he understood the situation. Apparently, that was not the case, assuming his quotes are legitimate.

“We have two weeks to defend ourselves. We want to shake off this tag. This club has never been associated with racism and we want it to stay like that.”

Uefa’s control, ethics and disciplinary body will conduct the hearing against Feyenoord on March 19th.

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