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UEFA fines Zenit St. Petersburg $18,000 for fans behavior

MOSCOW, April 17 (RIA Novosti) - The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) fined Zenit St. Petersburg Thursday 18,000 Swiss francs (some $18,000) for the behavior of its fans at matches with European clubs.

In March French side, Marseilles FC, complained that Zenit's fans chanted racists taunts at Marseilles' black players in St. Petersburg and during the away match, fans displayed a banner: "Kosovo is the heart of Serbia and we will not give away Kosovo."

The Control and Disciplinary Body of UEFA notified the club in Russia's second largest city that the money must be transferred to UEFA banking account within 30 days.

The club later said in a statement addressed to the UEFA that "Zenit unites in its ranks footballers of different nationalities and religious beliefs" and that "the club and its players have frequently expressed their attitude to racism by taking part in city and inter-ethnic programs."

Earlier in the month Zenit, sponsored by Russia's energy giant Gazprom, progressed to their first semifinal appearance in a major European competition and is set to play Bayern Munich on April 24 and on May 1, in Germany and Russia respectively.

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