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Tootle's 'slug' goal celebration

The Toe Poke
By ESPN Staff

NEC Nijmegen accept fine for crowd incident

NEC Nijmegen have decided not to appeal against the punishment they received after a match official was struck by an object during their UEFA Cup clash with Hamburg last month.

The Eredivisie club were fined 50,000 euros and handed a one-match stadium ban, which is suspended for three years, after Slovenian referee Darko Ceferin was struck on the head by a lighter thrown from the stands at De Goffert.

Hamburg went on to win the last-16 first-leg clash 3-0, which was played on February 18.

NEC director Jacco Swart told the club's official website: "The overall verdict, the background of it and the punishments of clubs in the past have been studied excessively. Based on that, we took the decision to accept the punishment.

"We don't see much of a chance of it being reduced if we did appeal. Even worse, in some cases in the past we have seen the punishment increased.

"In the case of NEC that could mean the conditional fine of one match without fans in the stands would become an unconditional punishment."

Swart also revealed NEC fans have launched an appeal to raise the funds for the 50,000 euros fine.

"We are pleasantly surprised by the initiative and find it heart warming the NEC fans want to help their club in this way. We are proud of them," he said.


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