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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Aragon├ęs' Spanish reprieve appals anti-racism activists

Spain's football federation and courts yesterday came under fire for undermining the work of anti-racist campaigners after the judiciary overturned a decision that had criticised the national team manager, Luis Aragonés, for "conduct which could be considered racist". Aragonés's offensive comments about Thierry Henry to José Antonio Reyes were widely televised in October 2004, leading to a £1,900 fine from the Spanish football federation for unsporting conduct. That was upgraded to a racism charge by the government-run Spanish Committee for Sporting Discipline, a verdict which both Aragonés and his employer challenged in the Madrid courts. They ruled in his favour yesterday, with the Spanish federation saying in a statement: "The court found that the Spanish Committee for Sporting Discipline had incorrectly evaluated the evidence.

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