Cassano fined over comments
Antonio Cassano has been hit with a fine of €15,000 for a discriminatory statement he made whilst on international duty at Euro 2012.
Last Updated: 20/07/12 4:29pm
Striker Antonio Cassano has been hit with a fine of €15,000 for a discriminatory statement he made whilst on international duty at Euro 2012.
Cassano caused uproar when he said he hoped there were no homosexuals in the national team squad in Poland and Ukraine in the build-up to Italy's second Group C match against Croatia.
He later said his comments had been misinterpreted and he did not want to cause offence, but UEFA has taken a dim view of his outburst and fined him €15,000 (£11,700)
"The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body has fined Italy's Antonio Cassano 15,000 euros for a discriminatory press statement during UEFA EURO 2012," said a statement on the governing body's website.
"An appeal can be lodged against this decision within three days of the dispatch of the full written decision."
Cassano had responded to questions about reports in Italy which claimed there were two homosexual players in Cesare Prandelli's 23-man Euro 2012 group.
"The (national) coach had warned me that you would ask me this question," AC Milan forward Cassano said.
"If I say what I think...I hope there are none.
"But if there are queers here, that's their business."
Cassano quickly apologised for his comments the following day.
"I sincerely regret that my statements have sparked controversy and protest from gay rights groups," said the statement on the official website of the Italian Football Federation.
"Homophobia is a sentiment that is not mine. I did not want to offend anyone and I cannot question the sexual freedom of other people.
"I only said that it is a problem that does not concern me and it is not for me to pass judgement on the choices of others, who are all respected."