UEFA have opened a disciplinary probe over alleged racist abuse by Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets towards a Real Madrid player in the arch-rivals’ ill-tempered Champions League semi-final last month.
“UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against FC Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets, who is alleged to have violated … the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations by directing racist abuse towards a Real Madrid player,” European football’s governing body said in a statement on Thursday.
“The proceedings have been launched on the basis of evidence provided by Real Madrid (video and statement of club and player).”
Busquets could face a five-match suspension under UEFA’s rules if he is found guilty of making a racial insult.
With UEFA’s disciplinary body due to rule on the allegation next Tuesday, that could sideline him from the Champions League final on May 28 against Manchester United at Wembley.
UEFA said the alleged offence happened during the first leg of the semi-final tie at the Bernabeu on April 27. The other player was not named but is widely reported to be Real’s Brazilian left-back, Marcelo.
The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body will deal with the case on May 15, with the decision being communicated to the club the following day.
Barcelona won the away leg 2-0 before qualifying 3-1 on aggregate.
UEFA handed down a three-match ban on Real coach Jose Mourinho after he made allegations of favouritism towards Barcelona, while Real defender Pepe was sent off in the first leg.
Barcelona reserve goalkeeper Jose Pinto, red-carded in a half-time melee in the first leg, received a three-match ban.
Real Madrid had asked UEFA last week to reconsider their decision not to investigate provocation by Barcelona’s players.
UEFA has vowed to crack down on racism in football.
SBS will screen the UEFA Champions League final on SBS One, on Sunday 29th May, 2011 from 11am.