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UEFA punishes Russia's Zenit for war criminal banner by fans



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NYON, Switzerland (AP) — UEFA has punished Zenit St. Petersburg for fans honoring war criminal Ratko Mladic with an order to close part of its stadium in the Europa League Round of 32.

UEFA says the Russian club is guilty of "racist behavior" and must pay a 10,000 euros ($11,750) fine.

Zenit fans unfurled the 10-meter (-yard) long banner behind one goal during a group-stage win last month against Vardar Skopje of Macedonia.

It was played one day after former Bosnian Serb military chief Mladic was convicted by a United Nations tribunal of genocide in the Balkan conflict 25 years ago.

UEFA says the same section of Krestovsky Stadium must be closed and replaced with a banner of UEFA's anti-discrimination "#EqualGame" campaign.

Zenit's next Europa League home game is in February.

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The Associated Press

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