FIFA rejects Ukraine appeal; sanctions for discrimination upheld
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The FIFA Appeal Committee yesterday decided to reject the appeal lodged by the Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU) and confirm the decisions rendered by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee with regard to the FFU on 27 September 2013 in their entirety.

As such, the next home match of the “A” representative team of Ukraine in the preliminary competition for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ will be played without spectators. In addition, the “A” representative team is banned from playing in the Arena Lviv stadium for the duration of the same competition. The FFU is also ordered to pay a fine of CHF 45,000 and has been warned as to its future conduct.

The sanctions imposed by the Disciplinary Committee relate to incidents that took place during the preliminary competition match for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ between Ukraine and San Marino, played in Lviv, Ukraine on 6 September 2013. After receiving a report by FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe), the committee agreed that the offensive and discriminatory actions of a group of Ukrainian supporters were shameful and a clear breach of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.

FIFA is committed to fighting all forms of discrimination in football and works closely with its member associations around the world to educate and inspire a message of equality and respect. The creation of the FIFA Task Force Against Racism and Discrimination by FIFA President Blatter in early March 2013 was a key step in the ongoing fight against discrimination. FIFA also insists on strict punishments to send out a strong message that discrimination has no place in the game.

Article 58 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, which is applicable regardless of the question of culpable conduct, clearly sets out the minimum sanctions at FIFA’s disposal in the event of discriminatory behaviour.

When rendering the decision, the FIFA Appeal Committee also recalled the resolution on the fight against racism and discrimination approved at the FIFA Congress in May 2013, which advocated the need for stricter application of sanctions.

The decision by the Appeal Committee was notified to the FFU today.