BUDAPEST, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- World soccer governing body FIFA on Tuesday rejected an appeal by Hungary's football federation (MLSZ) against a ruling requiring Hungary to play its next World Cup qualifier meet behind closed doors.
MLSZ said that Hungary will appeal for redress to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). MLSZ must do it within 21 days. If it fails to make its case before CAS, the March 22 meet between Hungary and Romania will have to be played in an empty stadium.
FIFA took the disciplinary action following a friendly game between Hungary and Israel last August that was marred by anti-Semitic slurs shouted out and racist posters displayed by fans. Hungary was also fined 40,000 Swiss francs.
While Hungary acknowledged the incident and agreed with FIFA' s goals, it felt that the sanctions were disproportionately high.
On its part, the members of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee were unanimous "in condemning an abhorrent episode of racism, anti-Semitism, and of political provocative and aggressive nature perpetrated by supporters of the Hungarian national team," according to an official FIFA statement. It also warned of harsher sanctions should there be any further racist incidents.