Rapid Vienna appeal UEFA penalties

Mahmoud Elassal, Monday 10 Sep 2012

Austrian side appeal one-year UEFA ban following last month's riot by fans at Europa League playoffs

Rapid Vienna, ordered to play their next European home game behind closed doors and slapped with a suspended one-year ban by the UEFA competition, have appealed against the penalty.

The sanctions were imposed by UEFA's disciplinary committee following a riot involving both sets of supporters at the first leg of the Europa League playoff against Greek side PAOK Salonika on 23 August.

Fans hurled firecrackers at each other and some supporters, many of them masked, invaded the pitch before the game that was eventually won 2-1 by PAOK.

Rapid, who won the return 3-0 to qualify for the group stage, were charged by UEFA with "improper conduct of supporters, crowd disturbances and setting off and throwing of fireworks and missiles."

Their one-year ban has been suspended for a probationary period of three years, meaning they will be automatically excluded from the European competition if the incident is repeated.

Rapid were fined 75,000 euro ($95,840) but have appealed the penalty, UEFA said on Monday.

UEFA has stated that the appeal hearing would take place on 14 September. Rapid's next European home game will be against Norway's Rosenborg Trondheim on 20 Sepember.

PAOK were also given a suspended one-year ban, ordered to play their next three European home games behind closed doors, and fined 150,000 euro.

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