Circumstances of the case
The UEFA match delegate reported that in the central section of the North Stand of the stadium, FK Crvena Zvezda supporters were standing and blocking stairways during the whole game, impeding the free flow of spectators. Also, it was reported that during the half time break the club’s supporters in the front row of the North Stand displayed a small flag featuring a portrait of Dragoljub Mihailović, a Yugoslav Serb general during the World War II involved in ethnic cleansing. FK Crvena Zvezda supporters also displayed a large text banner reading “Let babies be born, it is the message of the North [stand], we do not want Serbia to be a land of faggots”) and chanted the same slogan. Regarding the alleged homophobic message, the club stated that the violation was rather discriminatory than racist. The club denies the occurrence of the racist incident, arguing that an interpretation was given to the Mihailović banner which did not reflect the truth. Regarding the blocking of stairways, the club stated that the incident occurred solely on one tribune
Legal framework Article 14 UEFA Disciplinary Regulations and Article 38 Safety and Security Regulations
In the present case, the CEDB recalled that the fight against racism and any form of xenophobic behaviour is a high priority for UEFA. UEFA has a policy of zero tolerance towards racism and discrimination on the pitch and in the stands. With regard to the homophobic banner, the CEDB could not make any sense of which the club would point to the assumption that the incident was rather discriminatory than racist, when both behaviours would obviously violate Art. 14 of the DR. Regarding the banner showing Dragoljub Mihailović, the CEDB was however not convinced whether such banner was in fact racist or discriminatory, given that there were in fact several possible interpretations which could possibly be given to the banner. Bearing in mind the previous record of the club with regard to Art. 14 DR violations, the CEDB decided to order the partial closure of the club’s stadium during the next UEFA competition match in which the club would play as the host club, and in particular of the entire North Stand. Regarding the blocking of stairways, the CEDB decided that that a fine of € 8’000 is the adequate sanction.
Chairman: Partl Thomas (AUT)
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