Berlin – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) must play their first home qualifier for the 2023 Asian Cup in an empty stadium.
This is part of a punishment for fan behaviour in the semi-final of this year’s edition against Qatar.
Shoes and bottles were thrown at Qatar players during their 4-0 win over the host nation UAE in Abu Dhabi in January.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the sport’s governing body on the continent, also said fans made “insulting sounds during the national anthem of Qatar.”
A UAE fan also invaded the pitch and others fought among themselves.
In addition to the stadium ban, the UAE were fined 150,000 dollars.
Qatar won the Asian Cup for their first major honour last month.
Throughout the month-long tournament in the UAE, they were without their own fans.
This was due to a blockade imposed on the country by its neighbours who accuse it of aiding terrorism, a charge Doha denies.(dpa/NAN)