Russian soccer club CSKA Moscow must play its next Champions League game in a partially empty stadium after its fans racially abused Manchester City’s Yaya Toure during a match last week.
UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, said in a statement on its website that the sanction was issued because of the “racist behavior of CSKA supporters” during City’s 2-1 Champions League win. CSKA hosts Bayern Munich in its next Champions League home match on Nov. 27.
UEFA also said a separate investigation found referee Ovidiu Hategan’s handling of the matter followed the governing body’s procedure for dealing with racist incidents.
Hategan heard the chants and requested the fourth official ask for an announcement to be made to the fans.
The fourth official then made the request to the venue director, who hadn’t heard the chanting and didn’t make the announcement, UEFA said. As the chants had stopped, Hategan resumed the match.
UEFA said the venue manager acted inappropriately, though in good faith, and has been relieved of his duties.
Sepp Blatter, the president of soccer’s global governing body FIFA, told an audience in London on Oct. 26 that banning fans from stadiums is “nonsense” and an ineffective way of fighting racism. FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke told reporters he would question 2018 World Cup host Russia about the issue during meetings in Moscow this week.
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