posted on Feb, 8 2005 @ 03:25 PM
Paris Saint Germain has sacked its coach as France captain Patrick Vieira said he was shocked by the racist behaviour of the club's fans. The
escalating crisis at PSG resulted this morning (AEDT) in the sacking of fiery former Yugoslav international Vahid Halilhodzic following the 2-0 loss
to lowly Lens in a league game at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.
That left the capital side hovering close to the relegation zone with just four points from six games this year and with only the French Cup to play
for until the end of the season. The Lens game was marked by widescale disaffection from the PSG fan base, with their supporters in the 34,000 crowd
refusing to cheer for their side and raising banners demanding that the Bosnian-born Halilhodzic step aside.
There were also racist taunts at black players in the Lens side, neo-nazi banners and insults hurled at the directors' box, especially at club
chairman Francis Graille. Arsenal skipper Vieira, present at the match, said: "I was shocked by what I heard at the Parc des Princes on Sunday. I
really didn't think there would be such incidents in France. You don't see that in England.
"It's high time (the sport's world governing body) FIFA got involved in all this."
The match supported the initiative by Arsenal's French international Thierry Henry, who last month launched a campaign against racism entitled "Stand
up, Speak up," which aims to make supporters aware of the need to stamp out the problem in football.
As part of that initiative, PSG played in all white and Lens played in an all-black strip. Vieira agreed it was only a minority of fans involved in
the bad behaviour, but added "it is getting worse and worse.
"The clubs have to solve this problem. The federations must aid the clubs and FIFA must help the federations. We all have to work together."