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Ten-match ban for Belgium's Omar Rahou

Belgium futsal player Omar Rahou has been banned for ten UEFA games – at club or international level – for making a discriminatory gesture during a UEFA Futsal EURO 2014 match.

Omar Rahou has received a ten-match UEFA ban
Omar Rahou has received a ten-match UEFA ban ©UEFA.com

The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body has today suspended the Royal Belgian Football Association (URBSFA/KBVB) futsal player Omar Rahou for the next ten UEFA national team competition matches and/or UEFA club competition matches for making the "quenelle" gesture at UEFA Futsal EURO 2014.

The gesture was made at the Group A game between Belgium and Romania in Antwerp on 28 January, which Romania won 6-1. During the match, Rahou, when celebrating the goal he scored for the hosts, performed the gesture known as the "quenelle" several times.

Just after the game, the UEFA Disciplinary Inspector conducted an investigation into the facts of this case. He concluded that the gesture has discriminatory connotations and, consequently, that the player should be punished in accordance with Article 14 of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (racism, other discriminatory conduct and propaganda).

At today's meeting, the Control and Disciplinary Body deemed this gesture to be in breach of Article 14 of the Disciplinary Regulations and imposed a ten-match suspension.

This decision is open to appeal.

The fight against racism and other discriminatory behaviour is a high priority for UEFA. The European governing body has a zero-tolerance policy towards racism and discrimination on the pitch and in the stands. All forms of racist conduct are considered serious offences against the disciplinary regulations and are punished with the most severe sanctions. Following the entry into force of the new disciplinary regulations on 1 June 2013, the fight against racist behaviour has been stepped up a level – resulting in more severe sanctions as deterrents.

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