The J. League on Thursday slapped Shimizu S-Pulse with a ¥2 million fine after a controversial banner unfurled at the Shizuoka derby on May 28 against Jubilo Iwata sparked clashes between rival supporters.
Two teenage Jubilo supporters were banned from Iwata games indefinitely for a slur against Afshin Ghotbi, the Iranian-American manager of Shimizu. They hung a banner at the match saying "To Ghotbi, stop making nuclear weapons" at the match at S-Pulse's Outsourcing Stadium, triggering scuffles among fans.
The J. League deemed Shimizu responsible as they were hosting the match and issued the fine and a reprimand to the club. Iwata got away with a written warning from J. League chairman Kazumi Ohigashi, who said Iwata were not at fault as the banner did not have racist undertones.
"We decided that (the banner) was not racially motivated," said Ohigashi.