Uefa has ordered Montenegro to play the European Championship qualifier against Kosovo on 7 June behind closed doors as a result of the racist behaviour of fans in the match against England in March, the Football Association of Montenegro has announced.
The Montenegro FA has also been ordered to display a banner with the wording ‘#EqualGame’ and a Uefa logo before the game, and has been fined €20,000 (£17,000).
England won the game 5-1 but manager Gareth Southgate described it as a “sad evening” which was marred by the abuse directed at England players including teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi and the left-back Danny Rose.
Southgate confirmed after the game that he had heard racist chanting during the match, and said the Football Association would be filing a report to Uefa. He also questioned whether sanctions would make any difference “without education”, and said that he didn’t want to take the players off the pitch because that was not their wish.
In a statement, the FA said: “The FA acknowledges Uefa’s decision to sanction the Football Association of Montenegro. We hope that their next home match being played behind closed doors sends out a message that racism has no place in football or in wider society.
“We will continue to work with the relevant authorities in football to ensure that all players are able to enjoy the game in a discrimination-free environment.”
The Hungarian Football Federation has also been hit with a partial stadium closure after their game against Slovakia on 21 March, for a raft of charges including racist behaviour.
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