Dynamo Kiev

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Brazilian player Taison banned in Ukraine for response to racism

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KYIV, Ukraine — Brazilian player Taison has been banned for one game for his reaction to racist abuse in a Ukrainian league game.

The Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder showed his middle finger to Dynamo Kyiv fans who had abused him with monkey chants and kicked the ball into the stands during a game Nov. 10. Taison was shown a red card.

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The Ukrainian Football Association ordered Taison to serve a one-game ban plus a suspended two-game ban.

Dynamo has been fined 500,000 hryvnyas ($20,000) and ordered to play one game behind closed doors. Another one-game sanction is suspended.

World players’ union FIFPro says “sanctioning a victim of racial abuse is beyond comprehension and it plays into the hands of those who promote this kind of disgraceful behavior.”

Chelsea confirm alleged racist abuse of one of its players

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Chelsea have confirmed that one of their players was subjected to alleged racist abuse in Ukraine on Thursday.

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Various reports state that Callum Hudson-Odoi was racially abused by a group of Dynamo Kiev fans in the final minutes of Chelsea’s 5-0 UEFA Europa League last 16 win in the Ukrainian capital.

Although the club haven’t confirmed which player was allegedly abused, it has stated that European soccer’s governing body are investigating the incident.

Here are more details from a club statement:

“We can confirm a report of racist abuse directed at one of our players in the final minutes of the match in Kiev from a small section of home supporters. We wholeheartedly condemn such abhorrent behavior. The matter was reported to the referee at the final whistle and the chairman and club secretary spoke to the UEFA match delegate immediately after the match. We expect UEFA to conduct a fulsome investigation and we will provide full cooperation.”

Kedziora scores absolute screamer for Dynamo Kiev

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With the score 0-0 in the 21st minute, Dynamo Kiev midfielder Denys Garmash was searching for his third Europa League goal in three matches this season. With the ball loose 25 yards from goal, Garmash charged in and lashed at it hoping to fire a blistering strike at Stade Rennais goalkeeper Abdoulaye Diallo.

He completely whiffed. Badly. And it’s a good thing he did.

The ball trickled into even more space further from goal near the right edge of the box, and Garmash’s teammate Tomasz Kedziora took his own swipe at it. He actually made contact. Really, really good contact.

One of the best goals of the day followed as Kedziora unleashed an absolute missile into the top-left corner, sending Dynamo Kiev into the lead in shocking fashion.

The 24-year-old Polish international bagged the first Europa League goal since 2014 as the ball was sent rocketing into the far corner with incredible pace. Kedziora has plenty of European experience for his age, coming over from Polish club Lech Poznan – where he spent his youth days – in the summer of 2017 and has 25 Europa League appearances to go along with seven Champions League appearances.

Stade Rennais would draw level at 1-1 as the home side equalized through Clement Grenier just before halftime, but Kiev pulled out an amazing win despite falling a man down as Vitaliy Buyalskiy would win it in the 89th minute, just five minutes after Vodolmyr Shepelev was sent off for receiving a second yellow card. The three points moves Dynamo into an advancing position halfway through the group stage action.

UCL playoff preview: Ajax, Benfica, PSV looking for group stage spot

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The Champions League is nearly back to the apex of its competition, as the final playoff round gets set for its finale and the group stage looks for its final participants. There are only six spaces left among the group stage participants, and some big-name clubs will take the field for their matchup’s second leg.

Dutch giants Ajax are in a solid position, up 3-1 over Dynamo Kiev after the home leg and now hit the road to Ukraine hoping to wrap things up on Tuesday. They have been scoring at will of late, coming off a 5-0 demolition of Eredivisie minnows FC Emmen. They have scored 20 goals over their last eight matches across all competitions, with 35-year-old Klass-Jan Huntelaar owning six of those and former Southampton man Dusan Tadic owning five.

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Kiev, meanwhile, has been quite the opposite. Through five matches in Ukranian Premier League play, Kiev has scored just five goals, but has conceded just one, sitting third in the league table with 13 points, although they have a game in hand on those above them and remain the only unbeaten team remaining in league play.

Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb and Swiss champs Young Boys are both level at 1-1 heading to the second leg in Zagreb. The home side will hope for a better start than in the first leg, when Young Boys grabbed the opener just two minutes into the match.

Also on Tuesday, Greek side AEK Athens takes a 2-1 lead back home over Hungarian club MOL Vidi.

On Wednesday, another Dutch club looks to seal up a lead, as PSV Eindhoven returns home with a 3-2 advantage over Belarusian club BATE Borisov in tow. They led 2-1 late in the first leg, and the game finished wildly as BATE equalized in the 88th minute before PSV retook the lead just a minute later. The three away goals are all massive, as is coming home with a lead of any kind. PSV has participated in the Champions League group stage in two of the last three seasons, reaching the knockout stage in 2015/16.

Portuguese giants Benfica sit in a precarious position, heading out on the road to visit Greek side PAOK with that matchup level at 1-1. Benfica held a lead on a goal just before halftime, but they conceded a scrappy away goal in the 76th minute on a set-piece.

Finally, Red Bull Salzburg hosts Red Star Belgrade after a 0-0 first leg in Serbia.

The Latest: Official fined, banned; Player only gets warning

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A day after a player was let off with a warning, a Croatia official has been fined 15,000 Swiss francs ($15,150) for making a pro-Ukraine video that soon appeared on social media after the team’s World Cup quarterfinal win over Russia.

FIFA says Ognjen Vukojevic was also warned for “unsporting behavior.” The incident also involved Croatia defender Domagoj Vida, who received an official warning but no match sanction from soccer’s international governing body.

Vukojevic, who played for Dynamo Kiev with Vida, stated “This is a victory for Dynamo and for Ukraine!”

Earlier Monday, the Croatia soccer federation said Vukojevic had been sent home from the World Cup.

FIFA says he published the video, which appeared on social media about an hour after Croatia’s quarterfinal victory in a penalty shootout.

FIFA says its disciplinary panel noted that Vukojevic and the Croatian federation soon apologized.

Vida is expected to start for Croatia against England in the semifinals on Wednesday.

8:40 p.m.

Cuneyt Cakir has been selected to referee the semifinal between Croatia and England, making it successive World Cups the Turkish official has handled a game in the semis.

Cakir will be working his third game in Russia on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

He handled Argentina’s 2-1 win over Nigeria and Iran’s 1-0 win over Morocco in the group stage.

Uruguayan Andres Cunha was appointed to referee Tuesday’s semifinal between France and Belgium in St. Petersburg.

Cakir was referee in the World Cup semifinals at Brazil four years ago when Argentina edged Netherlands on penalties.

More AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/WorldCup