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UEFA hands down three anti-racism sanctions

Sep 10, 2013, 4:31 PM EDT

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UEFA charged two Polish clubs and one Hungarian club with racist behavior, handing down fines and stadium closures. The Control and Disciplinary Body announced the decisions on Friday, all stemming from incidents in Europa League qualifying.

Budapest Honvéd, one of the most famous Hungarian clubs that was once home to Ferenc Puskás, was charged with racist chanting in its second qualifying round matchup with FK Vojvodina. The team’s next two UEFA games will be played behind closed doors, one for this incident and one from previous sanctions that were pending future behavior. The club has also been fined €50,000.

Lech Poznań, after its fans displayed a racist banner against VMFD Žalgiris in the third qualifying round, has been fined €5,000. In addition, the part of the stadium that usually houses the club’s ultras has been closed for its next UEFA match.

Finally, Piast Gliwice has been accused of displaying a racist banner in a second qualifying round match against Qarabağ. UEFA handed down a partial stadium closure for the club’s next home UEFA match and a €5,000 fine.

In the press release announcing these sanctions, UEFA reiterated its emphasis on eradicating racism in soccer:

The fight against racism is a high priority for UEFA. The European governing body has a policy of zero tolerance towards racism and discrimination on the pitch and in the stands. All forms of racist behaviour are considered as serious offences against the disciplinary regulations and are punished with the most severe sanctions.

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