FIFA metes out fines for religious, political and homophobic fan behaviour

November 4 – Iran have been fined by FIFA after fans were asked to sing religious chants and wear black at a World Cup qualifier played on a holy day.

FIFA fined Iran’s soccer federation CHF45,000 “for several religious manifestations” when the country hosted South Korea in Tehran on October 11, the first of two mourning days on the Shia Muslim calendar,  including a “religious ceremony organized before the game and at halftime” and “use of a drone during the ceremony”.

FIFA has also fined the Croatian and Kosovan soccer federations a total of CHF80,000 by FIFA for anti-Serbian chants. Fans of both teams were heard chanting ‘Kill, kill the Serbs’ in their own languages during Croatia’s 6-0 win on October 6.

The Croatia federation was ordered to pay CHF50,000 and Kosovo was fined CHF30,000, hardly the best publicity in what was their first competitive home game since joining FIFA in May even though it was played in Albania, because Kosovo – a former province of Serbia which declared independence in 2008 – does not yet have an approved stadium.

FIFA has already barred Croatia fans from its first two home games in qualifying after previous incidents involving fans. The second of those games is against Iceland in Zagreb on November 12.

In other cases, FIFA imposed a series of fines for “incidents involving discriminatory and unsporting conduct by fans, including homophobic chants in some instances” at recent World Cup qualifying matches.

FIFA fined the Albania federation CHF50,000 for a range of incidents at a home qualifier against Macedonia in September. Charges were related to fans “turning their back and booing during the national anthem” and a “political slogan and banner.” And the Ukraine federation was fined CHF15,000 for fans displaying a “discriminatory flag” when it hosted Kosovo last month in Krakow, Poland.

Brazil was fined CHF25,000 for anti-gay slurs during a home match against Bolivia in Natal on October 6. Paraguay’s federation was fined CHF20,000 and the Argentina and Chile federations were each fined CHF15,000 Swiss francs ($15,400) for similar offenses. Estonia was fined CHF20,000 for insulting chants by fans when hosting Greece in Tallinn on October 10.

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