Serbian SuperLiga champions Partizan Belgrade will have to play their next two European encounters behind closed doors as punishment from UEFA for racist behavior from the fans.
Serbian SuperLiga champions Partizan Belgrade will have to play their next two European encounters behind closed doors as punishment from UEFA for racist behavior from the fans, according to a report published by AP News.
Partizan were also charged with various other offences including crowd unrest, use of fireworks and pitch invasions during two Champions League qualifying ties against Montenegro's Buducnost and Greek outfit Olympiakos.
On top of the two game empty stadium ruling, 'Parni Valjak' were also slapped with a hefty fine of €130,000, as well as being suspended for 3-years - UEFA also handed them a further one game to be played behind closed doors, meaning that they'll have to endure a total of three games without support.
Partizan initially beat Buducnost 2-0 on aggregate in the Champions League qualifiers, before being drubbed 5-3 over the course of two games by Olympiakos, meaning that they'll subsequently get the chance to qualify for the Europa League instead.
After being dumped-out of the continent's top competition, Partizan will face Hungarian side Videoton on August 17th - it will be the first of their two European games to be played out of the public eye.
Racism tarnishes the modern game and so the given punishment is very much an appropriate measure.
Partizan could rue the attitude to which their fans decided to take in previous weeks, with European football offering such invaluable revenue for a club if they're to progress to the latter stages of a tournament.
Never the less, the game is about unity, so hopefully without their supporters' interruption, Belgrade will be able to fully concentrate on matters on the pitch rather than from the terraces in order to march on in their search for European participation.