Bosnia Punishment Handed Out By FIFA
Bosnia received a range of sanctions handed out by FIFA last week for the trouble that resulted in their qualifier against Greece in June. FIFA imposed a one-match stadium ban on the Bosnian team meaning that their next qualifier at home against Belgium will be played without fans and cannot be played at the Zenica Stadium.
The Bosnian FA was also handed a fine of nearly €30,000 as punishment for other incidents such as the booing of the Greek national anthem before the game.
Furthermore, Bosnian assistant coach Stephane Gilli was banned from football for six months after punching Greek player Giannis Gianniotas in the face following a post-match scuffle. The French coach who has since been been relieved of his duties and his contract cancelled was also fined €2,600.
Edin Dzeko and Kostas Manolas’ post-match altercation also saw fines handed out to the players. Dzeko must pay €4,500 while Manolas from his end was fined €2,200. Muhamed Besic was given a one-match ban and will miss his country’s upcoming qualifier against Cyprus next month in addition to a fine of €4,400 for his role in the ugly scenes after the final whistle.
The stadium ban is certainly the biggest news to come out of FIFA’s ruling. The Bosnians will now be forced to play their most difficult remaining match, a home tie against Belgium, without fans and away from their usual ground. This will undoubtedly make things easier for group leaders Belgium.
As far as the impact on Greece, it remains to be seen. A Belgian win in Bosnia would just about clinch the top spot in Group H of European World Cup qualifying for Belgium. That would be potentially bad news for Greece, however if second place is the real target for Michael Skibbe’s men then perhaps the stadium ban could work in the Greek team’s favor.