FIFA Penalizes Olympiakos With Partial Stadium Closure For February ManU Visit
Greek side Olympiakos "will be forced to close part of their stadium" for February's Champions League visit from ManU after "being punished by UEFA for incidents during the match against Anderlecht, including racist conduct by their supporters," according to Rob Dawson of the MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. The Greek club "must close the lower tier of the north stand at the Georgios Karaiskakis stadium" for the last-16 first leg against ManU on Feb. 25 and have also been fined €30,000 ($41,000) (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 12/18). REUTERS' Graham Wood reported Olympiakos "have appealed against the partial closure of their ground," arguing that UEFA's sanctions "were harsh as there was no racist behaviour by the fans." FIFA said on Tuesday that the sanctions were imposed for "the racist conduct of supporters, insufficient organisation, the setting-off of fireworks and the use of a laser" in the Group C match with Anderlecht on Dec. 10. Zenit St. Petersburg "were also sanctioned by UEFA for incidents during a 4-1 loss at Austria Vienna in their final group game but the club said on Wednesday they would not appeal" (REUTERS, 12/18).