UEFA drops racial abuse probe following Michy Batshuayi’s claim in Atalanta game

UEFA has closed disciplinary proceedings it opened after Borussia Dortmund striker Michy Batshuayi alleged he had suffered racist abuse in last month’s Europa League tie at Atalanta.

European football’s governing body opened an investigation after Batshuayi, on loan at Dortmund from Chelsea, claimed monkey chants had been directed towards him from home fans during the second leg of the last-32 tie in Italy.

Atalanta faced charges of racist behaviour, the setting-off of fireworks, throwing of objects and blocked stairways, while Dortmund were charged with the setting-off of fireworks and throwing of objects.

UEFA announced it had fined Atalanta 34,000 euros (£38,771) for the other incidents on February 22, but offered no explanation as to why the racial abuse proceedings had been dropped.

It said on Thursday afternoon: “The CEDB (control, ethics and disciplinary body) has decided… to close the disciplinary proceedings opened for racist or discriminatory behaviour.”

Batshuayi was clearly unimpressed. The 24-year-old Belgium striker retweeted a news post about the investigation being closed and wrote: “LOL. Must be my imagination”. He then added: “Its just monkey noise who cares ? 2018 guys …”

The game in Italy ended in a 1-1 draw to send the German side through 4-3 on aggregate.

Batshuayi had said on Twitter after the match: “2018 and still racists monkey noises in the stands … really ?! Hope you have fun watching the rest of @EuropaLeague on TV while we are through #SayNoToRacism #GoWatchBlackPanther”

Meanwhile, UEFA also announced on Thursday that Basel had been fined 8,000 euros (£9,122) for setting off fireworks in the Champions League last-16 match at Manchester City on March 7.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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