Legia Warszawa have been ordered to close the north stand of their Stadion Wojska Polskiego for their next European home game following racist behaviour by supporters during the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round tie against The New Saints FC. Moreover, a fine of €30,000 has been imposed for these offences.
The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body has charged the Polish club under Article 14* of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (DR) on racism, other discriminatory conduct and propaganda, in relation to incidents in Legia's encounters with TNS on 17 and 24 July.
The fight against racism is a high priority for UEFA. The governing body has a policy of zero tolerance towards racism and discrimination on the pitch and in the stands. All forms of racist behaviour are considered as serious offences against the disciplinary regulations and are therefore sanctioned accordingly.
Following the entry into force of the new disciplinary regulations on 1 June 2013, the fight against racist conduct has been stepped up a level – resulting in more severe sanctions to deter any such behaviour.
As such, if supporters engage in any form of racist behaviour proscribed under Article 14 (1) DR, the member association or club responsible will be sanctioned with a minimum of a partial stadium closure (Article 14 (2) DR)*.
Legia play FC Steaua Bucureşti in the UEFA Champions League play-offs, with the return leg in Warsaw on 27 August.
*Article 14 – Racism, other discriminatory conduct and propaganda
1. Any person under the scope of Article 3 who insults the human dignity of a person or group of persons by w1hatever means, including on the grounds of skin colour, race, religion or ethnic origin, incurs a suspension lasting at least ten matches or a specified period of time, or any other appropriate sanction.
2. If one or more of a member association or club's supporters engage in the behaviour described in paragraph 1, the member association or club responsible is punished with a minimum of a partial stadium closure.
3. The following disciplinary measures apply in the event of recidivism:
a) a second offence is punished with one match played behind closed doors and a fine of € 50,000;
b) any subsequent offence is punished with more than one match behind closed doors, a stadium closure, the forfeiting of a match, the deduction of points or disqualification from the competition.
4. If the circumstances of the case require it, the competent disciplinary body may impose additional disciplinary measures on the member association or club responsible, such as the playing of one or more matches behind closed doors, a stadium closure, the forfeiting of a match, the deduction of points or disqualification from the competition.
5. If the match is suspended by the referee because of racist and/or discriminatory conduct, the match may be declared forfeit.
6. The above disciplinary measures may be combined with specific directives aimed at tackling such conduct.
7. All forms of ideological, political and religious propaganda are forbidden. If this provision is breached, paragraphs 1 to 6 above apply by analogy.
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