Bulgarian soccer fans fined $24,900 for displaying pro-Hitler banners

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 12:21 EDT
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File photo shows Levski Sofia fans watching a UEFA Europa League group C match against Lille in the Bulgarian capital Sofia on November 4, 2010. (AFP)
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Top Bulgarian football club Levski Sofia has been fined almost 20,000 euros after fans displayed banners with swastikas and praise of Adolf Hitler during a recent game, the country’s football federation said on Wednesday.

“The Bulgarian football union’s disciplinary committee has imposed a fine of 37,500 leva (19,200 euros, $24,900) on Levski for swastikas held up by its fans,” the union said in a statement on its website.

It also called on the club to slap a two-year stadium ban on the authors of the incidents.

During a league game against Litex Lovech on April 20, fans had held up a banner wishing happy birthday to Hitler — born on that day in 1889 — and another with a swastika adopted by his Nazi party.

Levski, which eventually won the game 2-1, was also fined 5,000 leva after fans threw missiles and firecrackers.

This is not the first time the club, currently second in the league table, have been sanctioned for racism and violence.

In September, European football’s governing body UEFA fined them 30,000 euros after their fans shouted racist abuse at their Bosnian opponents Sarajevo during a Europa League qualifying match in July.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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