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FIFA to relax commemoration rules

Blog - FIFA
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

FIFA gives Chile and Romania stadium bans, fines many Latin American FAs

Poland's Robert Lewandowski was caught in the explosion of fireworks in a game at Romania last month.

Chile and Romania have received stadium bans from FIFA, as the world governing body issued fines to a number of national football associations on Monday, including many for anti-gay chants in Latin America.

FIFA ruled that Chile will not be allowed to play their next two World Cup qualifiers at their home stadium in Santiago, while also giving out fines to Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico and Panama "for various incidents involving unsporting conduct by fans, including homophobic chants in some instances."

Chile and Argentina received the biggest of those fines at $29,200, while Colombia and Panama were fined $24,300 each and Mexico and Venezuela $19,500.

The fines were smaller than that incurred by England for the display of poppies during the Nov. 11 World Cup qualifier against Scotland, while Scotland, Republic of Ireland an Wales were also fined.

But FIFA's biggest financial punishment on Monday went to Romania, who will have to pay $92,500 and move their World Cup qualifier against Denmark from the National Stadium in Bucharest.

The penalties come after a firework exploded close to Robert Lewandowski's feet as Poland prepared to defend a second-half corner during a 3-0 win in Bucharest on Nov. 11. The match was stopped for several minutes, and the Bayern Munich forward returned after treatment and scored two late goals.

FIFA also fined the Greece federation $77,800 for several incidents during a home qualifier against Bosnia last month, including an offensive banner containing the slogan "Noz, zica, Srebrenica" ("Knife, wire, Srebrenica" in Serbian). In 1995, more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed in Srebrenica by ethnic Serb forces during a four-year war after the break-up of Yugoslavia.

After the incident last month, the Greece federation apologised and condemned the "unacceptable posting of a banner with fascist content."

FIFA also imposed a fine of $58,400 on Ukraine for fans' offensive chants during a friendly against Serbia in Kharkiv last month, while Poland ($34,000) and Bosnia-Herzegovia ($24,300) were also fined for fan misconduct.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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