(Reuters) - The Continental Hockey League (KHL) has fined Dinamo Riga one million roubles ($30,300) after a Nazi symbol was displayed during a ceremony on the ice before their match against Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk earlier this month.
“Use of any graphic forms showing Nazi signs and symbols, as well as similar images, are inadmissible for the KHL clubs and their fans,” the KHL said in a statement on Tuesday.
A military ensemble appeared to unfurl a large swastika on the ice in a ceremony, dedicated to the 95th anniversary of the Latvian Republic, just before Dinamo’s 4-3 win on November 17.
“It has many names, but this is not a swastika,” Dinamo’s press secretary Janis Stepitis said, adding it was used as a symbol of the Latvian armed forces before the country was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940.
The KHL said Dinamo, based in the Latvian capital Riga, could face expulsion from the championship in the case of a similar incident.
Dinamo are third in the KHL’s Western Conference with 59 points from 30 games, nine points behind leaders SKA St Petersburg.
The KHL, an international league set up in 2008, has 28 clubs from Russia, Belarus, Latvia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic and Croatia competing in four divisions from September to April for the Gagarin Cup.
Writing by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Ken Ferris