Serbia, Montenegro punished for fan slurs at Euro 2024 game

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — UEFA has ordered Serbia to host a 2024 European Championship qualifier in an empty stadium because of discriminatory chants by fans at a game against neighboring Montenegro.

Fans traded ethnic-based slurs at Serbia’s 2-0 win in Podgorica in March, and UEFA also sanctioned the Montenegrin soccer federation for discriminatory behavior in sanctions announced late Tuesday.

Serbia will serve the stadium ban when it hosts Hungary in September, activating a probationary sanction for previous racist conduct by fans at a Nations League game last year, UEFA said.

UEFA also fined the Serbian federation 50,000 euros ($55,000) and barred it from selling tickets to fans for the team’s next away game in Group G, in Bulgaria next month.

The latest UEFA sanction for Serbia fan misconduct follows a stadium closure for one game in Euro 2020 qualifying.

Montenegro was fined 20,000 euros ($22,000) by UEFA and must close a section of its stadium when hosting Bulgaria in September.

Serbia leads the group after winning its first two games and hosts Montenegro for the return game in October.

In other Euro 2024 disciplinary cases, UEFA ordered fines and partial stadium sanctions on the federations of Poland and Romania for, respectively, racism and discrimination by fans at qualifying games in March.

In a Champions League case, UEFA barred Benfica from selling tickets to fans for its first away game in the competition next season. Benfica also was fined 35,000 euros ($38,000) for fan misconduct during its quarterfinal at Inter Milan last month.


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