UEFA charges Spartak Moscow after flare fired at referee
Spartak supporters light a flare during the Champions League soccer match between Maribor and Spartak Moscow at the Ljudski vrt stadium, in Maribor, Slovenia, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
The Associated Press
Published Thursday, September 14, 2017 3:23PM EDT
NYON, Switzerland -- Russian champion Spartak Moscow was charged by UEFA on Thursday after a fan fired a flare at the referee during a Champions League match.
UEFA said its disciplinary panel will judge the case on Sept. 21.
UEFA's options to punish Spartak include closing part or all of its stadium for a future game. Liverpool visits the Otkritie Arena -- a 2018 World Cup venue -- in Moscow on Sept. 26.
The flare rocketed out of the section holding visiting Spartak fans early in its 1-1 draw with Slovenian champion Maribor on Wednesday.
It landed in the centre circle near German referee Denis Aytekin and burned out. The referee briefly stopped play.
Slovenian police said late Wednesday that two Spartak fans had been arrested in connection with the use of flares at Ljudski Vrt Stadium. Police didn't specify whether the two fans were suspected of firing the flare which landed near Aytekin.
UEFA also charged Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk with flare use by fans in its 2-1 win over Napoli.
There were no charges for Napoli, whose fans fought with stewards at halftime.
"Nothing was mentioned in the official reports about Napoli fans and stewards, therefore no proceedings have been opened for this," UEFA said.