Zenit St Petersburg punished by UEFA for another racism infraction

UEFA has ordered Zenit St Petersburg to play their next European game behind closed doors in another racism sanction for World Cup host nation Russia.

Zenit fans jeered injured Leipzig player Naby Keita, who is from Guinea and will join Liverpool next season, during a Europa League game in March at the same St Petersburg stadium that will host World Cup matches.

As well as ordering Zenit to play their Europa League qualifier in July without fans, UEFA fined the club €50,000 for its fans' racist behavior, and another €20,000 for the throwing of objects and blocked stairways.

Zenit also faced two previous racism charges from UEFA last season. In November, they were fined over a banner honouring the convicted war criminal Ratko Mladic at a Europa League game.

FIFA fined Russia after fans racially abused France players during an international friendly in St Petersburg in March.

Racist chants became more common in Russian football this season even as the overall number of racism incidents decreased, according to a study published last week.