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UEFA charges Spartak Moscow after flare fired at referee

Russian champions Spartak Moscow were charged by UEFA on Thursday after a fan fired a flare at the referee during a Champions League match.

UEFA said its disciplinary panel will judge the case on Sept. 21.

UEFA's options to punish Spartak include closing part or all of their stadium for a future game. Liverpool visit the Otkritie Arena -- a 2018 World Cup venue -- in Moscow on Sept. 26.

The flare rocketed out of the section holding visiting Spartak fans early in their 1-1 draw with Slovenian champions Maribor on Wednesday.

It landed in the centre-circle near German referee Denis Aytekin and burned out. The referee briefly stopped play.

Slovenian police said late on Wednesday that two Spartak fans had been arrested in connection with the use of flares at the Ljudski Vrt Stadium. Police did not specify whether the two fans were suspected of firing the flare which landed near Aytekin.

UEFA also charged Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk with flare use by fans in their 2-1 win over Napoli.

There were no charges for Napoli, whose fans fought with stewards at halftime.

"Nothing was mentioned in the official reports about Napoli fans and stewards, therefore no proceedings have been opened for this," UEFA said.

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