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Sep 27, 2013

Ukraine to play behind closed doors

FIFA has ordered Ukraine to play their next World Cup qualifier in an empty stadium after their fans hurled racist abuse during a match against San Marino.

FIFA said in a statement Friday 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."

The sanction means Ukraine will host Poland on Oct. 11 in an empty stadium for a game that could be crucial in deciding the top two spots in Group H, which also includes England.

FIFA also said there were "several incidents involving pyrotechnical devices" that violated safety regulations.

Ukraine, who won the Sept. 6 match 9-0, was also fined 45,000 Swiss francs (36,800 euro).

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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