UEFA has fined the clubs that had crowd trouble during the final qualifying round for the Champions League. Belgium’s Anderlecht were hardest hit as UEFA fined them 20,000 Swiss francs after fans threw missiles and attempted to invade the pitch during their second-leg defeat against Turkish side Fenerbahce in Brussels on Aug. 29. Fenerbahce, who went through 3-0 over the two legs, were fined 8,000 Swiss francs for their supporters setting off fireworks.
Red Star Belgrade were fined 10,000 Swiss francs by the committee after their supporters threw missiles during their qualifier against Rangers, which ended in a 1-0 overall victory for the Glasgow side.
Also, Lazio was fined 12,000 Swiss francs and Dinamo Bucharest were fined 9,000 Swiss francs respectively for incidents of fans setting off fireworks during their third-round meeting. UEFA’s disciplinary committee made no mention of racist behaviour at either match despite media reports of chanting by Anderlecht, Fenerbahce and Lazio fans.
The fines seem quite light considering the offences and I wish UEFA would get a bit tougher with these incidents. What’s worrying is that no investigation into the racist chanting seems to have been done. The number of incidents has been increasing over the last few years and UEFA and FIFA need to step up efforts to push it out of the game. It will be interesting to see what happens if there are more events like these in the upcoming matchdays. The visit of Manchester United to Roma is particularly worrying considering the events of last year when several United supporters were hospitalized after a baton charge by riot police inside the ground.