Football: Atalanta fined 40,000 euros over banana incident

TURIN (REUTERS) - Serie A club Atalanta were fined 40,000 euros (S$68,876) on Monday after a banana was thrown onto the pitch during Sunday's 2-1 win at home to AC Milan.

Serie A's disciplinary tribunal also ordered that their Curva Nord stand be closed for one game but suspended the sanction for one year. A statement said the sanction will only be implemented if a similar offence is committed during that period.

The banana landed near Milan's Guinean defender Kevin Constant who picked it up, showed it to the referee and handed it to team mate Nigel de Jong, who threw it off the field.

Milan players sarcastically applauded the section of the Atalanta fans where the banana was thrown from.

Atalanta said in a statement on their website that club president Antonio Percassi had telephoned Milan's chief executive Adriano Galliani to personally apologise.

Spain's Villarreal were fined 12,000 euros by their football federation after a fan threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during a La Liga match in April. The Brazilian picked up the fruit and ate it.

The supporter was banned for life by the club.

Italy and Spain have long battled racism among soccer fans.