Serbia says expulsion from 2015 U21 Euros avoided
NYON, Switzerland (AP) -UEFA has declined to expel Serbia from the 2015 European Under-21 Championship over racist abuse directed by fans at England players, according to a top Serbian football official.
Serbia Football Association general secretary Zoran Lakovic said UEFA's appeals panel has ordered the team to play two qualifiers in an empty stadium. A one-match stadium closure was imposed in December at a UEFA disciplinary hearing.
Lakovic said the UEFA appeal body upheld Serbia's fine of ?80,000 ($107,000), which had been widely expected to be increased.
UEFA had yet to announce its verdict.
The organization challenged its own disciplinary rulings to seek tougher sanctions, as football tries to curb discrimination at stadiums.
Serbia fans aimed monkey chants at black England players during a volatile playoff in Krusevac last October. Coaches and players clashed on the pitch after England won 1-0, advancing to the 2013 European U21 tournament in Israel in June.
UEFA is also seeking longer suspensions for England players Steven Caulker and Thomas Ince. Caulker was banned for two matches and Ince one. The English Football Association appealed to overturn both players' suspensions, which would apply in Israel. Caulker and Ince attended the hearing that lasted seven hours at UEFA headquarters. European football's governing body had yet to announce its decision.
UEFA ordered a complete review of widespread sanctions arising from the playoff, including suspensions for four Serbia players and two Serbia coaches.