- Associated Press - Thursday, April 27, 2017

ZURICH (AP) - FIFA has fined the Albanian soccer federation 100,000 Swiss francs ($100,500) for improper conduct by fans who forced a World Cup qualifying match in Italy to be stopped.

Play was delayed for nine minutes in Palermo last month when Albania fans threw flares on the field despite warnings earlier in the game.

Albania’s fine announced on Thursday by FIFA is its fourth for fan incidents at five World Cup qualifiers.

Italy, which won the game 2-0, was fined 15,000 Swiss francs ($15,075).

FIFA holds member federations responsible for security at home matches.

Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico were again fined for the latest round of anti-gay slurs aimed by fans at opposing goalkeepers despite a FIFA campaign to curb the practice in Latin America.

Brazil must pay 35,000 Swiss francs ($35,200), Argentina 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,100) and Mexico 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,050). Costa Rica was warned for the same offense.

Argentina’s association was also warned for using an “armband with symbol” at a 1-0 win over Chile last month.

Other fines included 50,000 Swiss francs ($50,250) imposed on Iran’s federation for various offenses including fans lighting fireworks and “non-use of FIFA branding items” at a 1-0 home win against China. The Chinese federation was warned because coach Marcello Lippi did not attend the mandatory pre-match news conference.

Panama’s federation was fined 8,000 Swiss francs ($8,040) after a home qualifier against the United States for conducting an unauthorized ceremony before kickoff. Panama was also warned for “improper conduct of ball kids.”

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