Serbia and Montenegro to play behind closed doors following fans’ misconduct

Serbia and Montenegro to play behind closed doors following fans' misconduct

UEFA has ordered Serbia to play its last home qualifying game for the European Championship in an empty stadium.

European football’s governing body slapped a €90,000 fine on the Serbian Football Association, for the fans’ misconduct during a Euro 2024 qualifier against Montenegro on 17 October.

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The decision means Serbia will play its Euro 2024 qualifying game without fans when it hosts Bulgaria on 19 November.

The Serbian FA immediately said it would appeal “using all legal means” against the sanction via a statement.

“We will ask for a postponement or mitigation of it, in order to create the best possible atmosphere at the newly built stadium in Leskovac and provide full support to our national team,” it said.

Serbia has been fined a total of €144,250 for crowd trouble in its last two matches.

The Montenegro football federation also was punished with a charge of “racist behaviour” from the neighbouring countries’ game in Belgrade in October Serbia won 3-1.

Both federations also were punished for the same offences after fans traded ethnic slurs when the teams met in Montenegro in March.

UEFA said fan numbers also were restricted when Serbia hosted Hungary in September.

The Serbian federation faced other charges including “failure to take action against black-market ticket sellers” and must pay fines totalling nearly €90,000.

The Montenegro federation must pay UEFA €20,000 and cannot sell tickets to fans for a qualifying game in Hungary on November 19.

Scottish champions Celtic banned one of its supporter groups earlier this week for coordinating a pro-Palestinian display at the home game against Atletico Madrid, wary of potential UEFA intervention.

Celtic has already been fined by UEFA twice this season and cited “serious escalation” in unacceptable behaviour by a group of season ticket holders, informally known as the Green Brigades, for its decision.


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