Zenit escapes stadium ban in Champions League

AP, Monday 12 Dec 2011

Zenit St. Petersburg has been fined by UEFA but escaped a stadium ban after smoke from flares ignited by fans twice stopped a Champions League home match

UEFA says the Russian club must pay ?50,000 ($66,000) for several disciplinary offenses, but stopped short of ordering matches played in an empty Petrovsky Stadium.

Zenit is in the Champions League last-16 draw on Friday.

Zenit’s 0-0 draw with APOEL on Nov. 23 was stopped for three minutes in the first half until thick smoke cleared.

German referee Felix Brych also took players off the field during a seven-minute, second-half stoppage.

UEFA says it also punished Zenit because fans displayed “illicit banners”and invaded the field against APOEL, and during a 1-0 home win against Shakhtar Donetsk.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online sports on Twitter: @AO_Sports)

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