Ukraine face sanctions as FIFA opens racism investigation

Ukraine fansSeptember 23 - Ukraine could be docked points or forced to play a potentially decisive World Cup qualifier behind closed doors after FIFA launched an investigation into racism.

Serhiy Storozhenko, vice-president of the Ukraine Football Federation, confirmed FIFA had launched a case against his country who host Poland in their next qualifier on October 11 with both nations fighting for a place in next year's finals.

Storozhenko said that according to a report compiled by Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE), Ukrainian supporters waved racist banners and a large T-shirt with the number 88 printed on it, which is a neo-Nazi code for 'Heil Hitler', during this month's 9-0 victory over minnows San Marino in Lviv.

He also said FARE reported that a group of 30 people were caught aiming monkey impersonations at Brazilian-born Ukraine international Edmar.

"In response to these violations FIFA opened a case against Ukraine. Possible punishments range from playing a game behind closed doors to stripping three points from the team and imposing a fine," Storozhenko said. "It is hard to talk about deadlines but we are expecting FIFA to arrive at their decision by September 27."

Ukraine are second in Group H on 15 points, level with Montenegro and one point behind leaders England, with two matches to play.

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