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Levski Sofia hit with spectator ban over fan racism

Modified 20 Mar 2019, 14:54 IST

SOFIA (Reuters) - Levski Sofia must play their next European match at home behind closed doors following racist behaviour from their fans during their Europa League games against Slovenia's Maribor last month, the club said on Friday.

European soccer's governing body UEFA's disciplinary panel also fined Levski 57,000 euros ($64,501) for displaying illegal banners, the 26-times Bulgarian champions said in a statement.

Five weeks ago, Levski have been ordered to partially close a stand at their Georgi Asparuhov stadium for the return leg against Maribor following "racist behaviour" by supporters in the first leg.

Levski, one of the Balkan country's two most popular clubs along with bitter city rivals CSKA, have a history of racism at their matches.

In 2012, Levski were fined 30,000 euros by UEFA for racist behaviour by fans during a Europa League match against Bosnia & Herzegovina's Sarajevo.

The Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) fined the club 37,500 levs ($21,706) after their supporters displayed a banner showing a swastika and another one marking what would have been Adolf Hitler's birthday during their game at Litex Lovech in April 2013.

The Blues have been fined 19,000 levs in 2014 after fans mocked one of the anti-racism campaigns launched by UEFA in a Bulgarian league match.

($1 = 0.8837 euros)

($1 = 1.7276 leva)

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

Published 19 Aug 2016, 16:52 IST
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