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FIFA upholds Ukraine sanctions for racist abuse

AP - Sports

ZURICH (AP) -- FIFA has rejected Ukraine's appeal against sanctions imposed after fans racially abused their own black player and made Nazi salutes at a World Cup qualifying match.

FIFA previously criticized the ''shameful'' incidents at the Sept. 6 qualifier played in Lviv, which is bidding to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. FIFA said Wednesday that its appeals committee confirmed Arena Lviv is barred from staging qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup. The stadium hosted three matches at the 2012 European Championship.

Ukraine must also play its first home qualifier for 2018 in an empty stadium. The Ukrainian football federation, which was also fined 45,000 Swiss francs ($50,000), can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

FIFA said it warned the federation about future conduct.

In a ruling published in September, FIFA's disciplinary panel said that ''the ... actions of a group of Ukrainian supporters were shameful.''

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