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(CNN) -- It is a strong punishment that could signal a change in FIFA's approach to tackling one of soccer's most ugly features -- racism.
Hungary and Bulgaria will play their next World Cup qualifying matches behind closed doors after soccer's world governing body sanctioned both countries for racist incidents involving their supporters.
FIFA said a group of Hungary fans had displayed offensive symbols and chanted anti-Semitic songs during a friendly with Israel in August while Denmark's Patrick Mtiliga was subject to racist abuse from Bulgaria fans during a match in October.
A spokesman from FIFA told CNN it is the first time the governing body has barred fans from attending a match due to discrimination issues.