Hungary must play World Cup qualifier in empty stadium

Hungary fans celebrate during a friendly with Israel in August, where some fans voiced anti-Semitic chants.
Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images

Hungary's Football Association says that sport's highest court has rejected its appeal against a FIFA order to play a World Cup qualifier in an empty stadium because of anti-Semitic chants by fans.

Hungary will have to play behind closed doors when it hosts neighboring Romania in a key match on March 22.

The association said Tuesday that having exhausted all possible appeals, it accepts the ruling of the Court of Arbitration for Sport based in Lausanne, Switzerland.

FIFA's punishment, which also includes a fine of 40,000 Swiss francs ($42,200), was handed out after Hungary fans abused the Israel team at the Ferenc Puskas Stadium in Budapest during a friendly last August.

Hungary and Romania each have nine points in the six-team Group D, and trail the Netherlands by three points.

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