Racist chants force Ukraine to host empty World Cup qualifier

4 Comments

No fans will be in attendance when Ukraine host Poland on October 11 thanks to a punishment handed down by FIFA.

According to the sport’s governing body, on the September 6 match with San Marino, ‘several racist and discriminatory incidents were apparently perpetrated by local supporters during the match, in particular by displaying neo-Nazi banners and by making `monkey noises and gestures’ as well as Nazi salutes.”

FIFA also noted several incidents involving “pyrotechnic devices” during the match (pictured).

In addition to the supporter ban, FIFA also handed down a fine of $49,800 to the Ukraine Football Federation (FFU).  Ukraine won the match in Lviv 8-0.

The upcoming game between Poland and Ukraine, which will now be played in front of an empty stadium, is of utmost importance in Group H play. Ukraine is tied with Montenegro on 15 points – good enough for second place – and Poland sit back in fourth position just two points back.  England leads the group with 16.

FIFA noted that if the infractions continue, they would have no choice but to impose harsher punishments, including “a match forfeit, a points deduction or disqualification from a competition.”