Hungarian federation fines team, suspends referee after racist chants at soccer game

Hungary's soccer federation has fined a team whose fans chanted anti-Semitic slurs during a league match and suspended the game's referee for failing to take action.

Ujpest FC was on Tuesday fined 5 million forints (US$23,250) by the Hungarian Football Federation's disciplinary committee, while referee Csaba Sapi was suspended from officiating games until March 1, 2006.

Representatives of Hungary's Jewish community last week protested against the anti-Semitic slurs chanted by Ujpest fans during a game on Nov. 26 against MTK Budapest, which has Hungarian Jewish roots.

Sapi's punishment was the result of new disciplinary measures affecting game officials. The federation said Sapi should have warned the fans about the racist chants and suspended the game if the abusive behavior continued, the AP reports. While Hungary's soccer teams are off during most of the coming winter months, Sapi will still miss out on several league and Hungarian Cup games, the federation said. P.L.

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