World Cup qualifier between Ukraine and Poland to be played behind closed doors - FIFA
The 2014 World Cup qualifier between Ukraine and Poland in Kharkiv on October 11 will be played without spectators, reads a statement posted on FIFA's official Web site on Friday.
Such a decision was taken by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee at a meeting on September 27.
The committee decided that Ukraine would be banned from playing in the Arena Lviv stadium as from today and for the whole duration of the preliminary competition for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU) was also fined CHF 45,000.
In the 2014 World Cup qualifier between Ukraine and San Marino, which was played in Lviv, Ukraine, on September 6, 2013, both the referee and the match commissioner reported several incidents involving pyrotechnical devices. Moreover, 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 September 11, 2013, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee analyzed the match officials' reports, the report from the FARE observer, as well as the position of the FFU.
"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," reads the statement.
As reported, England remains the leader of Group H, collecting 16 points from eight games. Ukraine and Montenegro each scored 15 points, and Poland has 13 points.
England will still have to play two home games against Montenegro and Poland in October. Ukraine will face Poland at home on October 11 and San Marino away on October 15. Montenegro, in addition to the away match against England, will also play Moldova at home.