April 26, 2019 / 5:22 PM / a month ago

Montenegro handed stadium ban for fans' racist behaviour

(Reuters) - Montenegro have been ordered to play their next European competition match behind closed doors as part of sanctions handed out by UEFA for the racist behaviour of their supporters during a match against England last month.

England defender Danny Rose was subjected to monkey chants and Raheem Sterling, scorer of England’s final goal in the 5-1 win, was also targeted, with racist abuse heard throughout the game in Podgorica on March 25.

The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body announced on Friday that Montenegro would have to close their stadium for the next match they host as well as display a banner with the wording “#EqualGame” and the UEFA logo on it.

Montenegro are due to host Kosovo in their next home match in Group A of the qualifying competition for Euro 2020. They sit fourth in the standings with one point from two games.

In a statement, England’s Football Association said: “The FA acknowledges UEFA’s decision to sanction the Football Association of Montenegro. We hope that their next home match being played behind closed doors sends out a message that racism has no place in football or in wider society.

“We will continue to work with the relevant authorities in football to ensure that all players are able to enjoy the game in a discrimination-free environment.”

Montenegro’s FA has also been fined 20,000 euros ($22,000) for other charges including the setting off of fireworks and throwing of objects.

England’s Tottenham Hotspur defender Rose told Sky Sports: “I’ve just found out and I’m lost for words a little and I am not surprised.

“I don’t think it is a harsh enough punishment for someone to learn from in the future, just a one-game ban and 20,000 euros - it’s a bit shocking but there is not much I can do now.

“I just have to hope that I never have to play there again, it’s a shame that this is where we are now and I just have to get on with it.”

UEFA has also charged Hungary with racist behaviour by fans in their 2-0 Group E defeat by Slovakia last month. They have been ordered to partially close the stadium for the next competitive fixture they host by at least 3,000 seats.

Reporting by Christian Radnedge, additional reporting by Ken Ferris; Editing by Ed Osmond

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