UEFA punishes Serbia and Montenegro after offensive chants at Euro 2024 qualifying game

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — UEFA ordered Serbia on Wednesday to play in an empty stadium at its last home qualifying game for the European Championship because of another charge of offensive chants by its fans against Montenegro.

The Montenegro soccer federation also was punished with a charge of “racist behavior” from the neighboring countries’ game in Belgrade in October that Serbia won 3-1.

Both federations also were punished for the same offenses after fans traded ethnic slurs when the teams met in Montenegro in March.

UEFA said Serbia must play its Euro 2024 qualifying game without fans when it hosts Bulgaria on Nov. 19. Fan numbers also were restricted when Serbia hosted Hungary in September.

The Serbian federation faced other charges including “failure to take action against black-market ticket sellers” and must pay fines totaling nearly 90,000 euros ($95,000).

The Montenegro federation must pay UEFA 20,000 euros ($21,000) and cannot sell tickets to fans for a qualifying game in Hungary on Nov. 19.

Hungary and Serbia are expected to advance directly to Euro 2024 in Germany by finishing in the top two places in the group standings.


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The Associated Press