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UEFA closes case of racial abuse alleged by Sweden player

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — UEFA has ended a case against Romania’s soccer federation that was opened after a Sweden player claimed he was racially abused during a European Championship qualifying game. UEFA confirmed its disciplinary panel’s decision on Monday without citing reasons.

Sweden forward Alexander Isak told the referee he heard racist abuse during Sweden’s 2-0 win in Bucharest last month. Play was briefly stopped to broadcast a warning to fans at National Stadium in Bucharest.

Isak follows Chelsea and Belgium forward Michy Batshuayi and Liverpool forward Rhian Brewster in having their investigations of their racial abuse claims dropped by UEFA for lack of evidence. Both those cases were two seasons ago.

UEFA did fine Romania 40,500 euros ($45,000) for other fan incidents at the Sweden game, including illicit chants and an offensive banner. Romania’s national stadium will host four games at Euro 2020 in June.

In the Champions League, UEFA has charged Lyon over clashes between players and fans after the team advanced to the round of 16 last week by rallying to draw with Leipzig 2-2. Lyon forward Memphis Depay objected to a fan banner insulting a teammate as a donkey, and tried to take it from a fan near the edge of the field.

UEFA’s range of charges against Lyon include “insufficient protection of the playing area,” and will be judged on Feb. 27. That is one day after Lyon’s next home game in the competition, against Juventus.

Juventus faces UEFA punishment on the same day for fans going on to the field when the team played at Bayer Leverkusen last week.

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