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Zurich - Bulgaria, Hungary Soccer Teams Sanctioned For Anti Semitism

Published on: January 9, 2013 07:49 AM
By: AP
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Hungarian youths hold an Israeli flag before the start of their friendly soccer match against Israel in Budapest's Puskas stadium in this August 15, 2012 file photograph. Bulgaria and Hungary were ordered to play their next home World Cup qualifiers behind closed doors after their fans were found guilty of racist and anti-Semitic behaviour in recent games, FIFA said on January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh/Files Hungarian youths hold an Israeli flag before the start of their friendly soccer match against Israel in Budapest's Puskas stadium in this August 15, 2012 file photograph. Bulgaria and Hungary were ordered to play their next home World Cup qualifiers behind closed doors after their fans were found guilty of racist and anti-Semitic behaviour in recent games, FIFA said on January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh/Files

Zurich - FIFA fined Bulgaria and Hungary around $40,000 each on Tuesday and ordered them to play a World Cup qualifier in an empty stadium after fans aimed racist and anti-Semitic abuse at opposing teams.

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The punishments were announced as players and anti-discrimination groups demand a tougher response to fan actions at stadiums, including in Italy and Serbia.

“FIFA strongly condemns all forms of racism in football, and any form of discrimination will not be tolerated and will receive a strong response by the relevant FIFA authorities,” world football’s governing body said in a statement.

FIFA fined Bulgaria $38,000 and Hungary $43,400.

Bulgaria fans made monkey chants at Denmark defender Patrick Mtiliga, who is black, during a World Cup qualifier in Sofia on Oct. 12. Bulgaria, which is in the same group as Italy, will play in an empty stadium on March 22 when it hosts Malta.

Hungary fans directed anti-Semitic slogans and reportedly displayed Iran flags to insult Israel at an Aug. 15 exhibition in Budapest. Hungary’s punishment applies when neighboring Romania visits on March 22.

FIFA was helped by the European fans’ network FARE, which sends anti-discrimination monitors to high-risk matches.

However, FIFA declined to take World Cup qualifying points from either team as its disciplinary code allows. It could have hampered the teams’ chances of advancing to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Bulgaria and Hungary are in second place in their respective groups, which would be enough to earn a place in the European playoffs in November.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said last week that “sanctions must be a deduction of points or something similar” to uphold the governing body’s zero-tolerance stance on racism and discrimination.

Blatter spoke out during the weekend after AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng led teammates to protest at racial abuse by opposing fans by walking off the field with teammates in an exhibition against fourth-tier Italian club Pro Patria last Friday. The game did not resume.

At the FIFA player of the year awards on Monday, Blatter said Boateng was “strong and courageous” but that players leaving the field “cannot be the solution in the long term.”

Soccer union leader Theo van Seggelen says he’s proud of the recent player protest, but agrees with Blatter that leaving the field is not the answer. FIFPro general secretary Van Seggelen told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Boateng chose “the right moment” to lead off his AC Milan teammates.

The Dutch official acknowledges that “when it is the Champions League final, the circumstances are different.” Van Seggelen says “we have regulations for that. The referee is the only one who can stop the game.”


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1

 Jan 09, 2013 at 08:14 AM M Says:

The fans yelled "stinking Jews" and "Hail Benito Musolini" , and tehy also turned their back when Hatikva was played.

I don't know why we even try to interact with these people; Esav hates Yaakov

2

 Jan 09, 2013 at 08:17 AM Anonymous Says:

Its hard to even imagine that in this day and age, such a public statement of anti-human dignity would surface any place especially one where the ashes of the war are on the floor of the day.

3

 Jan 09, 2013 at 11:02 AM BuckyinWisconsin Says:

Europeans are barbarians, pure and simple.

4

 Jan 09, 2013 at 11:08 AM Shtarker Says:

Kol hakavod to FIFA. The punishment to play in an empty stadium is right on the mark.

5

 Jan 09, 2013 at 01:28 PM marcia Says:

Wait until we hear and see the same response to the American flag and the American National Anthem at various venues...the outrage will be minimal!

6

 Jan 09, 2013 at 01:38 PM Aryeh Says:

Competitive sport is a Hellenistic pursuit. No place in the Jewish people for this, don't we learn anything from Hannukka?

7

 Jan 09, 2013 at 03:45 PM marcia Says:

Reply to #6  
Aryeh Says:

Competitive sport is a Hellenistic pursuit. No place in the Jewish people for this, don't we learn anything from Hannukka?

So you never learned to play ANY type of Competitive games in Yeshiva? How sad....ur hand-eye coordination can potentially be great! Your running pace was never challenged as a child? Ur jump shot? I bet you davened faster then anyone else!

8

 Jan 09, 2013 at 04:08 PM Anon Says:

Reply to #6  
Aryeh Says:

Competitive sport is a Hellenistic pursuit. No place in the Jewish people for this, don't we learn anything from Hannukka?

and the Chinese invented noodles, so we should also give up lukshen kugel.

9

 Jan 09, 2013 at 08:00 PM mutti Says:

you could hear some anti semitic remarks coming from the bleachers in Yankee stadium too towards the frum Yankee fans

10

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