UEFA punishes Red Star Belgrade for racially abusing Zlatan Ibrahimović

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Serbian football club, Red Star Belgrade have been punished by UEFA for racial abuse aimed toward Zlatan Ibrahimovi when they hosted AC Milan in a Europa League game.

Ibrahimovi? was sitting in the stands as a substitute for his Italian team during a Europa League round-of-32 game in Belgrade in February. 

A group of fans were heard shouting ethnically offensive slurs at a largely empty Rajko Mitic Stadium: “You pus*, stinky balija, I fu* you in your mouth” to Milan and Sweden striker, who has Bosnian roots. Ibrahimovic was born in Sweden to parents from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia.

UEFA said its disciplinary committee found charges proven of racist behaviour and “provocative, offensive chanting” and have ordered the club to play a home game in European competition behind closed doors and fined €30,000 ($36,000) for racist behaviour and COVID-19 protocol breaches during their Europa League clash with AC Milan.

“Red Star is to play the next two home matches behind closed doors, the second being suspended for a probationary period of one year starting from the date of this decision, for the racist behaviour of its supporters,” UEFA said.

Red Star, the 1991 European Cup winners, have since apologised to Milan and Ibrahimovic and promised to work closely with Serbian authorities to identify the offender but no one has been charged.