Ukraine banned from playing at national stadium

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has delivered its verdict following inappropriate conduct by local supporters during this month’s World Cup qualifier in Lviv.
Ukraine has been banned from playing World Cup qualifers at its national stadium until following the 2018 tournament, FIFA announced Friday, after fans used pyrotechnical devices and committed racist behavior at a match earlier this month.

The national team will also play its next home match behind closed doors. The sanctions come as a result of incidents that took place Sept. 6 in a World Cup qualifier against San Marino in Lviv.

The referee and match commissioner spotted the use of pyrotechnical devices by fans, while Football Against Racism Europe informed FIFA that several racist and discriminatory incidents were committed by local supporters, including neo-Nazi banners hanging in the stands, Nazi salutes and "monkey noises and gestures."

A FIFA statement read: “After taking into account the full circumstances of the case, and particularly given the gravity of the incidents, the committee decided that the next home match for Ukraine in the preliminary competition for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil (Ukraine v. Poland on 11 October 2013) would be played without spectators.

“Moreover, the committee decided that Ukraine would be banned from playing in the Arena Lviv stadium as from today and for the whole duration of the preliminary competition for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

“Finally, the committee also decided to impose a fine of 36,000 euros.”

Ukraine is currently one point behind England in its qualifying group, and sits level on points with Montenegro, making next month’s match against Poland pivotal if it hopes to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

Peru has also been ordered to play its next home match, an Oct. 15 clash with Bolivia, without spectators, while being issued a fine of 16,000 euros for incidents that occurred against Uruguay on Sept. 6 in Lima.