September 21 – UEFA have punished the Romanian FA with an order to play its next home European Championship qualifier behind closed doors because of pro-Serbia chants by fans during a recent fixture with Kosovo.
When Romanian fans chanted ‘Kosovo is Serbia’ at the Euro 2024 qualifying game last week, the teams were taken off the pitch and play stopped for 45 minutes.
The slogan was also displayed on a banner despite UEFA disciplinary rules prohibiting political messages at matches under its jurisdiction.
Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 is formally recognised by about 100 countries and the majority of European Union members, but not Romania.
UEFA’s disciplinary judges fined Romania €40,000 and ordered the October 15 game against Andorra in Bucharest to be played without fans. Romania won the Kosovo game 2-0 and is second in its six-team qualifying group, in a three-way contest with Switzerland and Israel to earn the two direct entries to Euro 2024 in Germany.
Separately, Ukraine was sanctioned by UEFA for “racist behaviour” by fans at Euro 2024 qualifiers against England and Italy this month. A flag with far-right symbols had been displayed.
Ukraine must close a section of the stadium at its next “home” game, against North Macedonia on Oct. 14 in the Czech capital Prague. Ukraine currently cannot host games in its own country for security reasons during the Russian invasion.
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