UEFA hit CSKA with stadium closure
UEFA has forced CSKA Moscow to close part of their Arena Khimki stadium for their next Champions League game after finding the club’s supporters guilty of racially abusing Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure last Wednesday.
CSKA’s punishment will be a partial stadium closure when they take on Bayern Munich in a group-stage clash on Nov. 27.
UEFA’s disciplinary and control board met in Nyon, Switzerland after charging the Russian side last Thursday, and chose to rule against them.
CSKA had denied any wrongdoing took place and had insisted that Toure was alone in hearing anything.
However, the midfielder reacted angrily to the denial, and City compiled evidence -- some from independent observers -- arguing that the Ivory Coast international was racially abused.
UEFA has also cleared Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan over his handling of the situation following his failure to stop the game and ask for an announcement over the tannoy to tell supporters to stop their abuse after Toure alerted him to it.
European football’s governing body said in a statement on its official website: “The fight against racism is a high priority for UEFA. The European governing body has a zero tolerance policy towards racism and discrimination on the pitch and in the stands.
“All forms of racist behaviour are considered serious offences against the disciplinary regulations and are punished with the most severe sanctions.
“Following the entry into force of the new disciplinary regulations on June 1, the fight against racist conduct has been stepped up a level -- resulting in more severe sanctions to deter any such behaviour.”
UEFA has already ordered Lazio, Apoel Nicosia and HNK Rijeka to close sections of their grounds for Europa League games this season after finding their fans guilty of racist behaviour.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has in recent days reiterated his belief that fines and stadium closures are “nonsense” and said there is a need to “eliminate teams from a competition or deduct points”.