Ukraine to play World Cup qualifier against Poland behind closed doors

Ukraine’s national football team will play an important 2014 World Cup qualifier against Poland in Kharkiv on October 11 without spectators, reads a statement posted on FIFA’s official website on September 27.

According to the statement, in the 2014 World Cup qualifier between Ukraine and San Marino, which was played in Lviv on September 6, 2013, both the referee and the match commissioner reported several incidents involving pyrotechnical devices. Moreover, FIFA was informed by FARE (Football Against Racism Europe), by means of a report submitted by the FARE observer for the aforementioned match, that several racist and discriminatory incidents were apparently perpetrated by local supporters during the match, in particular by displaying neo-Nazi banners and by making “monkey noises and gestures,” as well as Nazi salutes.

“Following the opening of disciplinary proceedings on September 11, 2013, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee analyzed the match officials’ reports, the report from the FARE observer, as well as the position of the FFU,” reads the statement.

The committee agreed that the offensive, denigratory and discriminatory actions of a group of Ukrainian supporters were shameful and a clear breach of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC). In addition, the pyrotechnical devices, which can pose considerable threats to personal safety, are not to be tolerated.

The committee decided that Ukraine’s next home match against Poland on October 11, 2013 would be played without spectators.

Moreover, the committee decided that Ukraine would be banned from playing in the Arena Lviv stadium as from today and for the whole duration of the preliminary competition for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Finally, the committee also decided to fine the Football Federation of Ukraine CHF 45,000.

Source: Ukrinform

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