Queens Park Rangers have accused Fifa and Uefa of “brushing racism under the carpet” as they wait to hear whether action will be taken over an incident that prompted their under‑18 team to abandon a match in Spain.

QPR walked off the pitch during a tour game against the Andalusian side AD Nervión in August. The club said it followed a number of racist incidents, which were reported to the referee only for no action to be taken. QPR said on Wednesday that Fifa took seven weeks to acknowledge their complaint and then told them it was a matter for Uefa. According to the club, Uefa had by then told them it fell in Fifa’s jurisdiction.

“Fifa and Uefa seem to treat complaints about racism like a complaint about a broken seat in a stadium,” the QPR chief executive, Lee Hoos, said. “I am left confused, frustrated and incredibly angry that more than 10 weeks after we lodged our complaint of racism, we are still awaiting a decision.

“Incredibly, despite the seriousness of this issue, it took seven weeks and the personal intervention of Greg Clarke – the chairman of the FA and vice-chairman of Fifa – to get a response from Fifa.

“Let’s not forget, the level of racism was so severe it led to an under-18s game being abandoned. Our players deserve better than that. People deserve to be treated better than that.

“There were a substantial number of people within the game who warned me at the time that this issue would be swept under the carpet and I am appalled to see this appears to be the case. I am disgusted, embarrassed and dismayed to call them our governing bodies when they are incapable of governing.

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“Football is a powerful medium for positive change and education. Its reputation needs to be safeguarded. Unfortunately, the people in Fifa and Uefa are just not up to that important task.”

QPR’s intervention comes in the week that Uefa responded to persistent racial abuse by Bulgaria fans during England’s recent Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia by forcing the hosts to play their next competitive fixture behind closed doors, a punishment deemed overly lenient by anti-racist campaigners.

The AD Nervión chairman, Manolo Fernández, has acknowledged one of the team’s players said something unacceptable but claimed it was in response to being spat at, an allegation denied by QPR.

“One of their players, much taller than our player, spat down into his face,” Fernández said. “In that moment our player said something to him. I don’t know what but from what they have said it would seem to be something inappropriate. It is not at all acceptable what he said. What the other boy did isn’t acceptable either.”

Uefa said it had been in regular contact with the Spanish FA on the matter and added: “The case is still being investigated by the Andalusian Football Association – the competent body to deal with the case in the first place. Uefa would have the right to investigate the matter if the Spanish/Andalusian football associations closed the case without action.”

Fifa said it had “carefully reviewed the file” and referred it to Uefa because “confederations have jurisdiction on disciplinary matters related to friendly matches and competitions between representative teams or clubs belonging to the same confederation”.

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It emphasised that “discrimination of any kind has no place in football” and said it endorsed “a zero-tolerance approach” and “harsh sanctions for any such kind of behaviour”.



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