Soccer - AEK handed suspended ban from European competition

Soccer - AEK handed suspended ban from European competition
By Reuters
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(Reuters) - AEK Athens have been hit with a suspended ban from European competition by UEFA over the crowd trouble that marred their Champions League Group E match in Athens in November.

The Greek club has also been ordered to play its next two UEFA competition home games behind closed doors and fined 80,000 euros (69,585.3 pounds).

Riot police clashed with Ajax Amsterdam fans in the Olympic Stadium before the match and some supporters had blood pouring down their faces, while flares were also thrown inside the stadium.

On Friday, UEFA said in a statement that it had decided to "exclude AEK Athens FC from participating in the next UEFA club competition for which it will otherwise qualify."

"This sanction is suspended for a probationary period of two years," the governing body added.

UEFA had charged AEK with several infractions, including a pitch invasion by their fans, the throwing of objects, setting off of fireworks, insufficient organisation and the display of an illicit banner.

Ajax had also been charged with setting off fireworks and the throwing of objects by their supporters, but UEFA said it had decided to end the proceedings against the Dutch club.

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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