Feyenoord faces racism case

UEFA (File)
UEFA (File)

Nyon - UEFA has charged Feyenoord with racist behavior by fans who threw an inflatable banana on the pitch during a tense Europa League last-32 match against Roma.

UEFA also charged Roma winger Adem Ljajic on Monday with "provoking spectators" when celebrating the opening goal in Roma's decisive 2-1 win last Thursday.

Dozens of fans were detained in the Netherlands ahead of the return game following disorder in Rome at the first-leg match.

Last Thursday, play was twice briefly stopped by fan incidents including in the first half when the banana was thrown.

Feyenoord coach Fred Rutten suggested after the match there was no racist intent.

"There is such a fuss made about it. I don't see it that way," Rutten said. "We have different nationalities in our team. It's nonsense. We make too much of it."

UEFA said Feyenoord faces sanctions on March 19 for fans' racist behavior, plus throwing fireworks and objects and the club's "insufficient organization" in the stadium.

Feyenoord was fined $16 800 by UEFA earlier this season for similar incidents.

UEFA's disciplinary panel accelerated the cases against Serbia international Ljajic and Roma, which was late for a kick off.

The panel will hear those cases Wednesday and should apply sanctions before Roma plays Fiorentina in the last-16 round later this month.

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