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Football: UEFA rules no racist behaviour at UEFA European Qualifiers match between Romania and Sweden

Evening Standard
UEFA

The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body decided that at the match between Romania's and Sweden's national teams, taking place on the National Arena of Bucharest, on 15 November, in the UEFA European qualifiers, there was no racist behaviour of Romanian supporters, as guest players claimed, according to the Romanian Football Federation's (FRF) website.

"Following the statements from the Swedish side, UEFA decided to appoint a disciplinary inspector to inquire into the case of Bucharest. He discussed with two of Sweden's players, both having claimed they heard racist chants. Moreover, recordings were found in which football player Alexander Isak was shouted at by Romanian supporters. Thus, UEFA decided to open disciplinary proceedings in this case," the release reads.

"The FRF jurists had three days at their disposal to prepare the defence. Meanwhile, the statements of three of our players were filed, over 250 minutes of video footage were watched and statements from Sweden's side were taken, denying the presence of racism, including those of coach Janne Anderson from the press conference after the match, when he said he hadn't heard such chants. Moreover, it was proven that there were only booing shouts, and these were also present the moments when the ball wasn't in the possession of player Alexander Isak. Another important argument presented at UEFA by the FRF Jurist Department was that never in history have we been suspended for racist manifestations directed against black football players," the FRF mentions.

Nonetheless, the Romanian Football Federation was fined with 40,500 euro for the use of pyrotechnic materials, object throwing on the pitch and display of forbidden banners.

In the 81st minute of the Romania-Sweden match, Italian referee Daniele Orsato stopped the game for one minute for chants of a racist nature against black Swedish player Isak and a warning was sent on the loudspeakers to the Romanian supporters drawing their attention that there was the risk of completely stopping the match in case such incidents persisted.

Sweden won through the goals scored by Marcus Berg (18) and Robin Quaison (34), thus qualifying for EURO 2020.

Romania risked severe sanctions, taking into account it got a suspension match on a one-year probation period, for previous incidents. In the case of the aforementioned sanction, the match with Norway in the EURO 2020 qualifiers, which was supposed to be played behind closed doors, was carried out with 30,000 children in the grandstands, which is allowed by UEFA in this context.

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