FIFA orders Ukraine to play World Cup qualifier behind closed door after racism investigation

Some of Ukraine's fans were found guilty of acist and discriminatory incidents. Photo: PA

FIFA has ordered Ukraine to play their upcoming UEFA World Cup qualifier against Poland behind closed doors following investigations into racist behaviour during a game against San Marino.

Ukraine, who are currently one point behind leaders England in Group H, will now play Poland at an empty Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv on October 11 following analysis of "several racist and discriminatory incidents" perpetuated by local fans in a 9-0 win over San Marino on September 6.

A FIFA statement read: "FIFA was informed by FARE (Football Against Racism Europe), by means of a report submitted by the FARE observer for the aforementioned match, that several racist and discriminatory incidents were apparently perpetrated by local supporters during the match, in particular by displaying neo-Nazi banners and by making "monkey noises and gestures" as well as Nazi salutes.

"Following the opening of disciplinary proceedings on 11 September 2013, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee analysed the match officials' reports, the report from the FARE observer, as well as the position of the FFU (Football Federation of Ukraine).

"The committee agreed that the offensive, denigratory and discriminatory actions of a group of Ukrainian supporters were shameful and a clear breach of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC). In addition, the pyrotechnical devices, which can pose considerable threats to personal safety, are not to be tolerated.

"After taking into account the full circumstances of the case, and particularly given the gravity of the incidents, the committee decided that the next home match of the "A" representative team of Ukraine in the preliminary competition for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil would be played without spectators."

Ukraine were also fined 45,000 Swiss francs (£30,819) as part of the punishment.

The final group game for Mykhaylo Fomenko's men takes them to San Marino while qualification rivals England face Montenegro and then Poland in consecutive games at Wembley.