Soccer-La Liga unveils action plan in response to racist and violent incidents

MADRID, Jan 26 (Reuters) - La Liga has announced a series of measures to combat fan violence and racism in stadiums after Espanyol's match at home to Athletic Bilbao and Valencia's game against visiting Barcelona were overshadowed by events off the pitch.

Athletic's Inaki Williams was subjected to racist chanting in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Espanyol where hooligan violence broke out before kick off, while fans were filmed fighting outside Valencia's ground before the 2-0 win over Barca.

The organising body said in a statement it had opened procedures to identify the fans and would look to bring criminal charges of hate crime against the perpetrators, while also recommending Espanyol be hit with a partial stadium closure.

It also said it would work alongside the federation and players' association to make it easier for player's to report derogatory chanting.

Addressing the outbreaks of violence among fans, the league added that it would review how tickets are sold to matches and would press charges against anyone found to be involved in the incidents.

"La Liga wishes to express its rejection and profound concern with respect to the incidents that occurred yesterday, acknowledging that measures put in place several years ago must be improved," added the statement.

"Although there has been a decline of insults, incidents and violent attitudes in and outside football stadiums, yesterday's events mean those measures are no longer sufficient." (Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Ken Ferris)