Bayern Munich face UEFA action over banners

PARIS: UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Bayern Munich for discriminatory behaviour by supporters during Tuesday’s Champions League match with Arsenal, and for the display of an ‘illicit banner’ by fans. One banner seen at the match, which sent the hosts and holders through to the quarterfinals 3-1 on aggregate, referred to the campaign to have Kosovo officially recognised by FIFA. The other, contained offensive words and images directed towards the English side. “Disciplinary proceedings have been opened against FC Bayern Munich for discriminatory behaviour of their supporters ... display of an illicit banner ... and late kick-off,” Europe’s governing body said in a statement on Wednesday. “The case will be dealt with by the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body on 20 March.” Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia six years ago, is not a member of FIFA or UEFA but is allowed to play friendlies against other nations provided no national symbols, including flags, are displayed or anthems played. They played their first match, against Haiti, earlier this month. Scottish champions Celtic were fined 50,000 euros ($69,300) in December after fans displayed ‘illicit’ banners during a Champions League group match against AC Milan.

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Aaj Kal