Roma pay for Frisk incident

 

Dynamo Kiev were awarded a 3-0 win over AS Roma yesterday after their Champions League match was abandoned when Swedish referee Anders Frisk was hit by an object thrown from the crowd in Rome.

Roma will have to play their next two European games behind closed doors, UEFA said in a statement.

The matches are against Bayer Leverkusen on November 3rd and Real Madrid on December 8th.

UEFA's disciplinary committee acted after Frisk was injured at the Olympic Stadium at half-time of last Wednesday's game, shortly after sending off Roma defender Philippe Mexes.

Kiev were leading the Group B match 1-0 at the time.

France's Mexes has been suspended for two matches "for particularly unsporting conduct", UEFA said.

"In taking the decision the Control and Disciplinary Body took into account the seriousness of the nature of the incident, in which the referee Anders Frisk was injured and therefore led him to abandon the match," the UEFA statement said.

Roma were given until midnight on Friday to appeal but decided not to contest the decision.

The Serie A club said in a statement: "AS Roma takes on board the decision made by the UEFA disciplinary commission and states that it will not be presenting an appeal against it, while at the same time reserving the right to defend its interests, those of its shareholders and its own image, in all opportune forums, for the damage that has occurred.

"The UEFA sentence is taken by AS Roma as an important recognition of the professionalism shown by the club. However, the sentence needs also to be understood as a warning that such serious events should not be repeated."

Yesterday's decision satisfied the Ukrainian side who had demanded they be handed victory after the incident.

"To be honest we were expecting it," Dynamo spokesman Serhiy Polkhovsky said. "It's a justified decision which will be to the benefit of the sport."

Dynamo captain Olexander Shovkovsky added: "It's a tough decision (on Roma) but it doesn't diminish the respect for Roma as a club. And, at the same time, it should prevent such actions by the fans in the future."

Dynamo coach Josef Sabo admitted, however, that the last few days had been tough on his squad.

"All our players have been very uptight and nervous in the last few days and it was very difficult to coach the team for (Monday's league) game against Dnipro," he told the official club website.

A month ago, Israeli side Maccabi Tel-Aviv were awarded a 3-0 win over PAOK after the Greek club fielded a suspended player in a Champions League third round qualifier.

In 2001, Paris St Germain were given a 3-0 win at Rapid Bucharest after their UEFA Cup tie had to be abandoned following a floodlight failure.

Nicky Butt, meanwhile, must wait until today for a UEFA ruling on a possible three-match ban after his red card during Newcastle's 2-0 UEFA Cup win over Israeli side Bnei Sakhnin at St James' Park last Thursday.