Sports News

UEFA delays punishing Romania for fans' racist behaviour

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Romania will not now have to play Thursday’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Finland behind closed doors after UEFA decided to further investigate racist behaviour by their fans, the Finnish soccer body (SPL) said.

The initial decision to punish Romania followed racist and violent behaviour by their supporters during the goalless draws against Hungary and Greece.

“According to the UEFA decision on Monday, the punishment will be postponed due to additional research, and the game on Thursday will be played in Bucharest in front of an audience as usual,” the SPL said on its website.

UEFA’s disciplinary panel also fined the Romanian federation 110,000 euros ($124,421) in September for the bad behaviour.

Romania fans booed Hungary’s national anthem, displayed an illegal banner and clashed with visiting fans during the game in Budapest on Sept. 4.

Three days later they made racist remarks and threw missiles and fireworks during the match against Greece in Bucharest.

Romania, who host Finland on Oct. 8, are second in Group F with 16 points from eight matches, one point behind Northern Ireland. Finland are fourth on 10.

Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl, editing by Pritha Sarkar