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Wales fans free to attend Slovakia qualifier after ground closure overturned

Travelling fans had initially been barred from the match on October 10.

Wales supporters will be able to attend the Euro 2020 qualifier in Slovakia after their opponents appealed against a stadium closure (Adam Davy/PA)
Wales supporters will be able to attend the Euro 2020 qualifier in Slovakia after their opponents appealed against a stadium closure (Adam Davy/PA)

By Phil Blanche and Jamie Gardner, PA

Wales fans will be allowed to attend their Euro 2020 qualifier in Trnava after Slovakia won an appeal against the game being played behind closed doors.

The Football Association of Wales was told on Monday that the national team’s 2,137-strong following would be barred from the Group E fixture at the Stadion Antona Malatinskeho on October 10.

UEFA said the game would be played in an empty stadium to punish Slovakia over racist chanting from supporters during their 2-1 victory in Hungary last month.

But the FAW tweeted on Thursday: “Slovakia have successfully appealed against the stadium closure for the European qualifying match against @Cymru in Trnava on October 10.

“As a result, Wales fans will now be able to attend the match.”

Anti-discrimination campaigners Show Racism The Red Card Wales said the success of Slovakia’s appeal “made a mockery” of the initial decision and suggested a points penalty would have been a more suitable sanction.

The organisation’s campaign coordinator Jason Webber told the PA news agency: “You could argue that a points deduction is more effective than a full or partial stadium closure, because what does that do anyway really?

“A points deduction would make a stronger stance and would mitigate the problems that had been created for the away fans.”

The Slovakian federation (SFZ) said that as well as the overturning of the stadium ban, the fine had been reduced from 20,000 to 15,000 euros (approximately £13,300).

The SFZ said the basis of its appeal was that the chanting was “political provocation” rather than racism.

PA

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