UEFA Punishes CSKA, Part of Arena Khimki to Be Closed in Their Next Champions League Home Game

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European football governing body UEFA has ordered CSKA Moscow to have part of their Arena Khimki Stadium (sector D) closed during the club’s next Champions League home fixture.

This comes as a punishment for the Russian champions for the racist behaviour of their fans during October 23 Champions League match against Manchester City.

Ivory Coast international, Yaya Toure, complained of racist abuse inside the Moscow stadium during the Group D encounter, adding that he notified Romanian referee, Ovidou Hategan, who officiated the encounter, about a ‘Monkey Chant’ by a section of the fans.

Getty Image: CSKA Fans at the Arena Khimki Stadium, Moscow, Russia.
Getty Image: CSKA Fans at the Arena Khimki Stadium, Moscow, Russia.

UEFA pushed through new anti-racism proposals earlier this year which highlights the body’s zero tolerance on racism.

A UEFA statement concerning racism and its punishment read: “The fight against racism is a high priority for UEFA”.

“All forms of racist behaviour are considered serious offences against the disciplinary regulations and are punished with the most severe sanctions.”

It introduced a measure whereby if supporters were found guilty then there would be partial closure of the stadium.

If there is a second offence by the club’s supporters there will be full closure with a minimum of 50,000 euros (£ 42,700) fine.

“Under the regulations, a second offence of racial abuse concerning spectators could result in a full stadium closure,” the UEFA statement on racism added.

Meanwhile referee Hategan was absolved of blame by UEFA following accusations he may not have followed the correct procedure.

Yaya Toure Informing Referee Hategan About the Racist Chant.
Yaya Toure Informing Referee Hategan About the Racist Chant.

A UEFA spokeman told BBC Sport the referee, after being informed by Toure of allegations regarding racist abuse, passed the message to the 4th official who then informed the venue director, a UEFA appointment, who could have then made an announcement to the crowd.

The venue director claimed he hadn’t heard anything from the crowd and failed to read an announcement. UEFA says the man has now been relieved of his duties.

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