FIFA’s decision to force Ukraine to play their next home 2014 World Cup qualifying match against Poland without spectators has caused outrage amongst the country’s supporters.
Football’s world governing body said Ukraine’s fans were involved in “several racist and discriminatory incidents” during the 9-0 thrashing of San Marino in a qualifier in Lviv on September 6.
One Ukraine fan said: “Where did this issue even come from? I watched that game myself, what fascist slogans or banners are they talking about? I really didn’t understand what they meant by that.”
While a Artem Khudoleyev, a Dynamo Kiev ultra fan, said: “These accusations are nothing other than an attempt by the Football Against Racism in Europe group (FARE) to make money. The representatives of this organization, especially in Ukraine, are infamous so it’s out of the question to assume that they are truly fighting some global problem. They are fighting for a chance to be financed and secure financial support in the future, these so-called “grants” and they will write that report once the money is there.”
FIFA’s report cited Nazi salutes, racist chants and monkey sounds and gestures as being the incidents that triggered the sanctions.
Ukraine, who host Poland on October 11 before their last qualifier away to San Marino, are second in Group H level with Montenegro and one point behind leaders England.
Poland are fourth with 13 points.