Part of CSKA Moscows stadium will be closed for their next Champions League game following complaints that fans had used racist chanting in a game against Manchester City on 23 October, UEFA charged the club. UEFAs disciplinary panel announced the partial closing following a hearing in Switzerland earlier today. They also released a statement saying:
The fight against racism is a high priority for UEFA. The European governing body has a zero-tolerance policy towards racism and discrimination on the pitch and in the stands. All forms of racist behaviour are considered serious offences against the disciplinary regulations and are punished with the most severe sanctions.Disciplinary proceedings were brought against the club after their 2 1 defeat to Manchester City. Yaya Toure complained to the referee during the game after hearing racist chants from the crowd. UEFA then charged the club a day later as well as announcing that an internal investigation was to take place to establish why the match referee had not followed proper protocol. Once aware of racist chanting the referee is able to stop the game and ask for announcements to be made over stadium speakers asking for the chants to stop. They can then delay the game for a period of time and finally are able to abandon the game as a last resort. However during the match the referee decided against taking any action. The quick decision to punish CSKA Moscow will please anti-racism organization who asked the governing body to take decisive action if the claims were proved. The club denied any wrongdoing by their fans in the aftermath of the accusations. Telling the BBC on Radio 5 Live:
Having carefully studied the video of the game, we found no racist insults from fans of CSKA. We have nothing to hide, of course, and we have confirmation from the match delegate and the venue director that they themselves didn't hear anything special.As part of the sanctions for racist behaviour of fans, UEFA have the power to order partial stadium closures for future matches for first offences. They can then fine clubs and order full stadium closures if racism continues in the future. CSKA Moscows next Champions League fixture is against the current holders, FC Bayern München, on 27 November.