Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Uefa Ready to Act over Race Chant Claims; MONTENEGRO FACING PARTIAL STADIUM CLOSURE AFTER BLACK ENGLAND PLAYERS ARE TARGETED'Players Must Be Protected Properly'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Uefa Ready to Act over Race Chant Claims; MONTENEGRO FACING PARTIAL STADIUM CLOSURE AFTER BLACK ENGLAND PLAYERS ARE TARGETED'Players Must Be Protected Properly'

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Collings

MONTENEGRO face a partial stadium closure at the very least if UEFA find their supporters guilty of racist abuse towards England players last night.

UEFA today opened disciplinary proceedings into five separate matters from last night's Euro 2020 qualifier in Podgorica, including "racist behaviour". The case is due to be handled on May 16 by UEFA's control, ethics and disciplinary body.

UEFA officials will also examine four other possible breaches: setting off of fireworks, throwing of objects, crowd disturbances and blocked stairways.

England's black players were targeted by racist insults during the 5-1 win at the Gradski Stadion in Podgorica.

Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tottenham defender Danny Rose said they had heard it and Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling spoke forcefully about it after the game. The FA were expected to make a detailed statement on the matter today. Montenegro fans have caused trouble in the past but it is unlikely that previous sanctions will be taken into account in this case as they were not deemed to be related to racism.

If found guilty of racist offences, however, Montenegro will, at the very least, be hit with a partial stadium closure. Under UEFA rule Article 14, that is the minimum sanction that can be handed down to a club or country found guilty of discriminatory conduct and propaganda. Clubs or countries who have already been charged by UEFA for racism can be punished with a fine of [euro]50,000 (about PS42,800) and having to play a game behind closed doors.

Further action can be taken if more problems arise, with stadium closure, deduction of points and disqualification from competitions all open to UEFA.

Following a Euro 2016 qualifier in March 2015, UEFA awarded Russia a 3-0 win over Montenegro, who were ordered to play their next home fixture in an empty stadium, while a fine of [euro]50,000 was also enforced. …

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