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GENEVA – Serbia, Russian club CSKA Moscow and Cypriot side Apollon Limassol have all been sanctioned for racist behavior by fans, European football’s governing body UEFA announced on Tuesday.
Serbia were hit with a one-match ban on home fans during their next European Under-21 qualifying game.
That could be a major blow for Serbia, who are second in their group in the race to reach the 2015 finals and whose three remaining group stages games are all away.
As a result, the punishment would apply to the playoffs, if they reach them.
The UEFA sanction was a response to monkey chants by fans during a November 15 match away to current group leaders Belgium, which ended with a 2-2 draw.
CSKA Moscow, meanwhile, were ordered to play their next European match behind closed doors and fined 50,000 euros ($68,000) after supporters displayed racist and far-right symbols during the club’s 2-1 Champions League defeat away to Czech club Viktoria Plzen on December 10.
“The punishment reflects the fact that CSKA have previous records of racist behavior by supporters,” UEFA said.
CSKA came bottom of their group, with the Plzen match the final nail in the coffin of their lackluster European campaign.
Apollon, meanwhile, were ordered to close the stands on either side of the tunnel of their home stadium for their next European match.
That punishment was handed down for monkey chants directed at Portuguese-born Cypriot international Dossa Junior, who is black.
He plays for Polish club Legia Warsaw, who beat Apollon 2-1 during their December 12 Europa League match in Cyprus.
Neither club made it out of the group stage of the competition.
UEFA said fighting racism was a top priority, underlining that it had a zero tolerance policy whether the offense occurred on the pitch or in the stands. – Rappler.com