Montenegro lose appeal against stadium ban for racist behaviour
Montenegro have lost their appeal against an order to play their next European competition match behind closed doors as part of sanctions handed out by UEFA for the racist behaviour of their supporters during a match against England in March.
England defender Danny Rose was subjected to monkey chants and Raheem Sterling, scorer of England’s final goal in the 5-1 win, was also targeted, with racist abuse heard throughout the game in Podgorica on March 25.
UEFA ruled in April that Montenegro would have to close their stadium for their next match — at home to Kosovo in Euro 2020 qualifying Group A — and display a banner with the wording “#EqualGame” and the UEFA logo on it.
“The appeal lodged by Football Association of Montenegro has been dismissed,” UEFA said in statement as its appeal committee confirmed the original decision.
UEFA said it had also thrown out an appeal from Lazio against a partial stadium closure imposed for racist behaviour by their fans in the Europa League match at Sevilla in February and a three-game ban on Adam Marusic for assaulting another player.
Lazio will have to close a section of the Stadio Olimpico comprising at least 3,000 seats in their next home match in European competition and display an #EqualGame banner.
UEFA did agree to cut Bosnia midfielder Miralem Pjanic’s ban from two matches to one after he was sent off in the Euro 2020 qualifier away to Greece in March for a bad tackle.
Pjanic will now be able to face Italy in Turin on June 11.
REUTERS/Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond