Search icon


29th May 2019

UEFA updates rules so teams given racism stadium bans can still fill stadiums

Wayne Farry

uefa racism

The rule change will seek to avoid empty stadiums for countries and teams found guilty of racism

UEFA have updated their disciplinary rules so that matches played behind closed doors due to punishments over racial abuse will not result in empty stadiums for the nations and clubs affected.

In the event that clubs or countries receive stadium bans due to the behaviour of their fans, UEFA will allow them to “invite free of charge children up to the age of 14 from schools or football academies to attend matches to be played behind closed doors”.

This measure would ensure that matches had people in attendance and, crucially, that television cameras would not be televising matches with empty seats.

The updates were announced after a meeting of UEFA’s Executive Committee in Baku, Azerbaijan ahead of the Europa League final between Arsenal and Chelsea on Wednesday evening.

During the meeting, UEFA also urged FIFA and IFAB to “review the current concussion protocol and to consider potential changes in terms of substitutions and to reduce the pressure on the medical staff and give doctors more time to assess a potential concussion off the pitch, so that no concussed player returns to the field of play”.

In late April of this year, Montenegro were handed a one-game stadium ban after a number of their supporters racially abused Raheem Sterling, Danny Rose and Callum Hudson-Odoi during England’s 5-1 in Podgorica’s Gradski Stadion on 25 March.