September 23, 2019 / 2:56 PM / 22 days ago

Hungary, Slovakia get stadium bans for fans' racist behaviour

(Reuters) - Hungary and Slovakia will play their next Euro 2020 qualifiers behind closed doors after both national federations were sanctioned by European soccer’s governing body UEFA on Monday for racist behaviour by their supporters.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Euro 2020 Qualifier - Group E - Hungary v Slovakia - Groupama Arena, Budapest, Hungary - September 9, 2019 Hungary fans light flares after Dominik Szoboszlai scores their first goal REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo/File Photo

Riot police were called into action in Budapest after trouble erupted in the stands during the Euro 2020 Group D qualifier between the teams on Sept. 9, which Slovakia won 2-1.

In addition to the racism charge, the Hungarian federation was also sanctioned for their fans throwing objects and setting off fireworks and was fined 67,125 euros (£59,334).

Slovakia’s federation was fined 20,000 euros.

Slovakia’s next UEFA match is a Euro 2020 qualifier at home to Wales on Oct. 10 while Hungary’s qualifier against visiting Azerbaijan on Oct. 13 will also be played behind closed doors.

Slovakia and Hungary both have nine points from five games, one point behind Croatia and three ahead of Wales.

The Romanian Football Federation was fined 83,000 euros and ordered to play its next two games behind closed doors for failing to control fans in Group F games with Spain and Malta.

Romania was sanctioned for pitch invasions, setting off fireworks, throwing objects and racist behaviour by their supporters, including offensive banners and chants.

Romania’s next home game is against Norway on Oct. 15 but UEFA said in a statement that the punishment related to the second match was suspended for one year.

Romania are third in the standings with 10 points from six games, eight adrift of leaders Spain and and one behind Sweden.

The top two qualify for next year’s finals.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris

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