UEFA punishes Olympiakos, Zenit for fan racism
UEFA has punished Champions League participants Olympiakos and
Zenit St. Petersburg for the racist behavior of their fans by
ordering stadium sections closed at last-16 matches.
UEFA said the lower tier of the north stand at Karaiskakis
Stadium will be empty when Olympiakos hosts Manchester United on
Feb. 25. The section of Zenit’s Petrovsky Stadium where ultras
gather will be closed when Borussia Dortmund visits the same
Olympiakos was punished for ”racist conduct of supporters” and
setting off fireworks during a Dec. 10 group match against
Anderlecht. UEFA fined the Greek club 30,000 euros ($41,250).
UEFA had charged Zenit for fans displaying a racist banner,
throwing fireworks and crowd disturbances at Austria Vienna on Dec.
11. Zenit was fined 40,000 euros ($55,000).
Zenit said in a statement that the club was threatened with a
stronger sanction because of the poor reputation of its fans.
”Due to the numerous violations by the club’s fans in other
UEFA matches, the commission considered the possibility of
implementing even more severe sanctions against Zenit, namely the
complete closure of the stadium,” the Russian club said.
The clubs can appeal the sanctions.