Ukraine punished for fans' racial abuse, will play in empty stadium

By Evan Hilbert |

Soccer's governing body ruled Friday that Ukraine will play its match against Poland next month devoid of spectators. The punishment comes after alleged incidents of racism plagued a match between Ukraine and San Marino earlier this month.

In a release, FIFA said -- based on information it received from match officials and FARE (Football Against Racism Europe) -- "that several racist and discriminatory incidents were apparently perpetrated by local supporters during the match, in particular by displaying neo-Nazi banners and by making 'monkey noises and gestures' as well as Nazi salutes."

The statement also indicates that Ukrainian supporters used pyrotechnics, which "can pose considerable threats to personal safety."

Peru was also punished by FIFA and will play its match against Bolivia without spectators due to "crowd disturbance incidents."

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