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UEFA urges football bodies to use their sanction powers for racist abuse

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TURIN, Italy - UEFA has urged European football leaders to follow its guidelines for tougher action against racial abuse at matches.

Though UEFA's executive committee did not identify Spain on Tuesday, Villarreal's only sanction was a 12,000 euros ($16,000) fine from the league after a fan threw a banana at Barcelona defender Dani Alves last month.

UEFA says all member federations last year agreed that a first racist incident "must be punished by a partial stadium closure."

It also reminded that referees can order a warning broadcast to spectators as a first step before halting and abandoning matches.

UEFA's statement followed meetings of its executive committee and strategy council. That panel includes UEFA vice-president Angel Maria Villar, the Spain football federation president, and Spanish league delegate Carlos del Campo Colas.

Villarreal banned the fan, a club employee, for life.

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