Apoel fined for racism.
UEFA has slapped a e1/430,000 fine on Nicosia football club Apoel, after finding that its fans engaged in racist behaviour against Red Star Belgrade.
The fine concerns the home tie against the former European champions, whom Apoel went on to eliminate on the away-goals rule in the return leg in Belgrade, late August.
UEFA's Control and Disciplinary Body took the decision after weighing all the evidence before it, including a motion by Apoel to mitigate the penalty.
In a statement yesterday, Andis Polydorou, the club's vice-chairman and lawyer handling the case on behalf of Apoel, said the decision indicated UEFA zero-tolerance policy toward racism in football, be it racist chants or symbols.
UEFA also has the authority to strip guilty clubs of points in their local league and order that home games be played behind closed doors.
This being its first offence, the Nicosia club was spared the more severe penalties. But a repeat would almost certainly bring about harsher measures, including fines running in the hundreds of thousands of euros.
Copyright Cyprus Mail 2008
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