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AC Milan ordered to play next match in empty stadium

ACMilan’s Ignazio Abate and Cristian Zapata (center) fight for the ball with Juventus’ Carlos Alberto Tevez (right). (Alberto Lingria / AFP Getty Images)

AC Milan will play its next match in a closed San Siro stadium as punishment for chants by fans during a match over the weekend against Juventus.

Milan, which next plays Udinese on Oct. 19, also was fined 50,000 Euros ($68,000). In addition, the Serie A judge banned Milan defender Philippe Mexes for four matches for punching a Juventus defender and for getting a red card. Milan is appealing the ruling, which is the latest by Serie A in a move to stop discriminatory chants. Roma, Lazio and Inter Milan have been given partial stadium bans after fans were abusive toward black players.

The penalties did not sit well with Milan, which was sanctioned earlier this year after chants involving Napoli supporters. “To say I’m furious would be putting it mildly,” Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani said (via the Independent). “I understand that racism is a big problem, a problem everywhere in the world, but territorial discrimination is another thing entirely.”

During the match against Juventus in Turin, Milan supporters shouted “We are not Neapolitans.” The Independent noted that, “In the fiercely territorial world of Italian soccer, abusive rivalry between supporters of clubs in the rich north and those in the poorer south is not uncommon.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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