Europa League: Zenit St Petersburg hit with partial stadium closure over fans' racist banner

Reuters December 09, 2017 16:25:33 IST
Europa League: Zenit St Petersburg hit with partial stadium closure over fans' racist banner

Zenit St Petersburg have been ordered to partially close their stadium by UEFA after fans displayed a banner praising former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic during a 2-1 home win over Macedonian side Vardar Skopje in the Europa League last month.

Europa League Zenit St Petersburg hit with partial stadium closure over fans racist banner

Zenit St Petersburg fans during their match against FK Vardar at the Krestovsky Stadium. Reuters

The Russian club was found guilty of “racist behaviour” under Article 14 of UEFA’s disciplinary regulations and instructed to “close the entire sector where the discriminatory banner was displayed” during their next European match.

UEFA said in a statement that it had also asked Zenit to display a banner with the words “#EqualGame” and the UEFA logo on it in the same section of its Krestovsky Stadium.

The club has also been fined 10,000 euros ($11,760). Zenit topped their group to qualify for the last-16 of the Europa League, to be played early next year.

Mladic was found guilty of genocide by a U.N. war crimes tribunal the day before the match and sentenced to life in prison for his role in massacres and ethnic cleansing during Bosnia’s war.

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