February 5, 2018 / 11:40 AM / 20 days ago

Soccer: UEFA defer Red Star stadium ban over Mladic banner

ZURICH (Reuters) - UEFA has deferred a stadium ban on Red Star Belgrade imposed after their fans displayed support for Bosnian Serb war crimes convict Ratko Mladic during an away match in November.

UEFA last month ordered the Serbian club to play the home leg of their Europa League last-32 tie against CSKA Moscow behind closed doors following the incidents at Belarus side BATE Borisov.

Visiting Red Star fans displayed a banner glorifying Mladic, a former Bosnian Serb military leader sentenced to life in prison last year after a U.N. War Crimes Tribunal found him guilty of genocide.

“A thousand life sentences and an honourable Serb would still hail you,” said the banner displayed by Red Star fans, who also chanted Mladic’s name during the match.

However, UEFA said on Monday the stadium ban had been “deferred for a probationary period of two years”. It also cut a fine on Red Star from 50,000 euros ($62,000) to 30,000.

Red Star said last month they had done everything in their power to be good organisers and described the original decision as draconian.

Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond

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