Posted: Thursday January 10, 2013 7:54 AM

Bulgaria to appeal FIFA sanctions for racist abuse

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SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) - The Bulgarian Football Union will appeal sanctions imposed by FIFA for racist abuse by its fans during a World Cup qualifier.

FIFA's disciplinary committee on Tuesday ordered Bulgaria to play in an empty stadium on March 22 when it hosts Malta for a World Cup qualifier and fined the Balkan country 35,000 Swiss francs ($38,000).

Bulgaria fans had made monkey chants at Denmark defender Patrick Mtiliga, whose father is from Tanzania, during a World Cup qualifier in Sofia on Oct. 12.

Union president Borislav Mihaylov said the appeal will be against the "disproportionate punishment for racism and discriminatory behavior of a very small group of the crowd.''

He also said it was "unfair'' to be punished for the same offense with a game behind closed doors as well as a fine.
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