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FIFA Sanctions Bulgaria, Hungary for Racism
ESPN Soccernet, February 5th, 2013 1:20PM

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Bulgaria and Hungary have each lost their appeals with FIFA against sanctions handed down for racist incidents involving their national team supporters. The world soccer governing body further warned both countries that they could be expelled from World Cup qualifying if the incidents are repeated.

Bulgaria was punished after Denmark defender Patrick Mtiliga was racially abused whenever he touched the ball during a World Cup qualifier in October. In a friendly against Israel in August, Hungarian fans chanted anti-Semitic slogans and displayed offensive symbols.

As a result, both nations must now play their next qualifiers for Brazil 2014 behind closed doors. The Hungarian soccer association was fined $44,000 and the Bulgarian soccer association was fined $38,000. Harsher sanctions for repeat offense could be forfeiting a game, a points deduction or disqualification from the competition altogether. Both Hungary and Bulgaria currently occupy second place in their respective World Cup qualifying groups.

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