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Principle of liability upheld

PSV Eindhoven's fine for fans' racist behaviour is cut but ruling supports UEFA's approach.

PSV Eindhoven's fine imposed for racist behaviour by fans at a UEFA Champions League match against Arsenal FC last year has been cut to €19,551 by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Significant victory
However the principle of strict liability has been upheld with this CAS ruling and as a result UEFA has achieved a significant victory in the overall interest of European football.

Principle of liability upheld
"This is an important ruling which supports UEFA's approach to disciplinary sanctions," said UEFA's Communications Director Mike Lee. "The principle of clubs and national associations having responsibility for the behaviour of their supporters has been clearly upheld. This is good news for the ability of governing bodies to have a sensible approach to these issues."

Henry involved
Arsenal's French international striker Thierry Henry had missiles thrown at him and was subjected to racial abuse during the match in Eindhoven last October, which ended in an emphatic 4-0 away victory for the English side.

'Small scale incidents'
"The CAS ruled that some of the spectators inside the PSV stadium had definitely behaved in a racist manner towards certain players, but that the incidents had been on a relatively small scale," said a CAS statement. "Nevertheless, it held that PSV had taken the required measures to maintain order and security at the match in question and could not therefore be punished on that count."

Original fine increased
PSV Eindhoven were originally fined €19,551 in October but that was subsequently increased to €32,587 by UEFA as they appealed their own independent disciplinary body's decision. The Dutch champions then decided to present their case to the CAS, world sport's highest appeal body.

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