Sparta to Host Europa Game at Empty Venue After Fan Racism

sparta prague fans banned

Sparta Prague will host its opening group-stage game in the Europa League behind closed doors due to racial abuse of a player by fans.

Sparta said on Monday it won’t appeal the punishment by UEFA.

The incidents took place during the first leg of the Champions League third qualifying round match at home to Monaco on Aug 3.

A group of fans directed monkey chants at Monaco midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni after he scored the opening goal in the first half, and again when the game was over. The Monaco match was stopped for three minutes.

Monaco coach Niko Kovac said his team was “disgusted” by the behaviour. Kovac’s team won 2-0 and followed up with a 3-1 home victory in the second leg.

Sparta said it identified the fans responsible for the abuse and banned them.

The Disciplinary Committee of the Czech Football League fined Sparta Prague 100,000 CZK because of the acist abuse.

Sparta Prague apologized to Aurélien Tchouaméni and AS Monaco FC in an open letter.

“We state that our Club unanimously condemns any kind of discriminatory behaviour including racism. AC Sparta Praha do not and will not tolerate any kind of such behaviour and endeavour to actively fight against it by all possible means.’

‘We are deeply saddened by the incident that occurred during the game last week. We would like to inform You that thanks to the CCTV recordings and TV recordings the persons involved in the incident have already been identified by the Club, are under the investigation procedure, and will be banned from all AC Sparta Praha matches. The investigation procedure will be finalised in a short time. ‘

‘We also want to mention Sparta continuously communicate zero tolerance to any kind of discriminatory behaviour in order to prevent it. We are all equal. We say No To Racism. Football is a game for everyone. We play #equalgame.’

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