UEFA has confirmed that Cypriot football club Anorthosis Famagusta are out of the Europa League. The team were already 3-0 down with minutes to go in a qualifier when fans stormed the pitch and forced a premature end.
Anorthosis were losing 3-0 to Georgian side Dila Gori in last Thursday's third qualifying round match when violence flared, leading to the match to be stopped early.
According to The Cyprus Mail, Dila had just scored again in the 82nd minute at the Antonis Papadopoulos stadium in the Cypriot city of Larnaca when Anorthosis supporters invaded the pitch and pelted police with stones.
"The UEFA Europa League third qualifying round match between Anorthosis and Dila Gori was abandoned yesterday night due to crowd disturbances," UEFA told Reuters in a statement the day after the match.
On Tuesday, UEFA confrimed that Dila would be credited with the 3-0 win they were on track to secure. In the case of a forfeit, 3-0 happens to be the nominal score usually attributed to a game.
As a result, the Georgian side will progress to the playoff round and will face Portugal's CS Maritimo over two legs on August 23 and August 30.
In addition to being formally booted from the Europa League, UEFA - European football's governing body - said Anorthosis must play their next three UEFA club competition home matches behind closed doors and pay a fine of 50,000 euros ($62,000).
bm/msh (AFP, AP, Reuters, SID)