FA vow to take action

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The Football Association have vowed to "take the strongest possible action" against anyone found guilty of Islamophobic or racist chanting against Middlesbrough striker Mido.

The Egyptian striker was targeted by Newcastle fans as he warmed up in the Tees-Tyne derby at the Riverside Stadium last weekend, and has called on the game's governing body to take stern measures.

Mido suffered similar abuse during Newcastle's last visit to Boro a year ago - but an FA investigation then did not result in any banning orders due to difficulties in identifying culprits, which the player feels contributed to a repeat this season.

However, the FA insist that, with the help of both clubs, everything is being done to single out any guilty supporters and sanctions will be imposed where possible.

"We condemn any racist or Islamophobic behaviour and are committed to working with our clubs and the police to stamp it out," a spokesman for the FA said.

"We have an on-going investigation into the incidents on Saturday and are awaiting reports from Middlesbrough and Newcastle United.

"As always, the priority is to identify the individuals involved and take the strongest possible action against them. We fully support banning orders for anyone convicted of racist chanting."

The incident has been condemned by the anti-racist 'Kick it Out' campaign, and Mido maintains "serious action" must now be taken, but feels nothing at all could happen.

He told Egyptian television station Al Hayat: "They kept chanting disgusting words, racist words about Islam and unfortunately, this is the second time that the same fans have done this. It happened again because after the first time the English FA did nothing.

"I am asking the English FA to take serious action to stop such things. These chants are not directed at me as a person, but it is directed at Islam."

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