World Cup qualifying

Hungary must play to empty seats

March 12, 2013
By Associated Press

Hungary will have to play its World Cup qualifier against Romania later this month behind closed doors after the Court of Arbitration for Sport refused to allow the temporary suspension of a FIFA sanction.

In January football's world governing body ordered they play the Group D match on March 22 in an empty stadium.

FIFA's disciplinary committee found a group of Hungary supporters had chanted anti-Semitic abuse and displayed offensive symbols in their friendly against Israel in Budapest last August.

Hungary and Romania stand second and third in the group respectively, with both teams having nine points, three fewer than leaders Holland.

The Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ) have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to stay the decision and the arbitration process is ongoing.

"The Court of Arbitration for Sport has dismissed the application for provisional measures filed by the Hungarian Football Federation in relation to a decision of the FIFA instances ordering that the Hungarian team play its next home match in the preliminary round for the 2014 FIFA World Cup without spectators," the CAS said in a statement.

"The arbitration in this matter is ongoing and an award on the merits will be issued at the end of the CAS procedure."