UEFA has ordered Eredivisie sideFeyenoord to play their next European match without fans as punishment for racism. The organization also fined the Dutch club €50,000 or $54,800. It is also mentioned that they will have to play another match behind closed doors as part of that charge, if there is another incident of the kind in the next two years.
Feyenoord were charged with racist behavior showcased by fans who threw an inflatable banana on the pitch during a Europa League last-32 match against Roma. The charge also addressed to Roma winger AdemLjajic with “provoking spectator” when celebrating the opening goal in Roma’s 2-1 win last Thursday (28/5). UEFA’s disciplinary panel meets Wednesday (27/5) to hear cases against Ljajic and Roma. The Thursday game was twice briefly stopped by fan incidents.
In the same game in February, Feyenoord fans also set off and threw fireworks and objects and blocked stairways.UEFA said Feyenoord faces sanctions on March 19 for fans’ racist behaviour, plus throwing fireworks and objects and the club’s “insufficient organization” in the stadium.Trouble between the two sets of supporters flared in Rome ahead of the first leg; in Feyenoord, play had to be suspended because of fan trouble after Mitchell teVrede was sent off for the hosts.
UEFA’s disciplinary panel accelerated the cases against Serbia international Ljajic and Roma, which was late for a kick off.Roma received a €10,000 fine for delaying the start of the match.
Feyenoord general director Eric Gudde had tried to convince UEFA that the bananas were art of a fun activity by the supporters, who also used beach balls as another example. “Feyenoord is a multicultural club,” continued Gudde.“That can be seen throughout our organisation, from the first team to the youth academy. It is very disappointing that an association is now being made with racism.”
According to the club, having inflatable balloons or balls has been a regular occurrence at Feyenoor and it is already taken as out of extraordinary stuff. It is purely intended as a fun activity to create a good atmosphere during the game. Inflatable objects have been carried by Feyenoord fans in the De Kuip stadium for years, insisted the director.
While Fred Rutten, Feyenoor coach said that he did not believe any racism attack during the play when banana was thrown on the pitch. “There is such a fuss made about it. I don’t see it that way. We have different nationalities in our team. It’s nonsense. We make too much of it,” Rutten said.