ZURICH – FIFA has rejected Ukraine’s appeal against sanctions imposed after fans racially abused their own black player and made Nazi salutes at a World Cup qualifying match.
FIFA previously criticized the “shameful” incidents at the Sept. 6 qualifier played in Lviv, which is bidding to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
FIFA said Wednesday that its appeals committee confirmed Arena Lviv is barred from staging qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup. The stadium hosted three matches at the 2012 European Championship.
Ukraine must also play its first home qualifier on the 2018 program in an empty stadium.
“FIFA also insists on strict punishments to send out a strong message that discrimination has no place in the game,” the governing body said in a statement.
The Ukrainian football federation, which was also fined 45,000 Swiss francs ($50,000), can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
FIFA said it warned the federation about future conduct.
FIFA acted on reports from monitoring group Fare, which attended Ukraine’s 9-0 victory over San Marino on Sept. 6.
Fare reported “Nazi salutes and racist monkey noises targeting Edmar,” a Brazil-born Ukraine player who is black, and that “neo-Nazi banners were on display.”
In a ruling published in September, FIFA’s disciplinary panel said that “the offensive, denigratory and discriminatory actions of a group of Ukrainian supporters were shameful.”
Ukraine lost to France last week in the World Cup playoffs.