Liverpool supporters who already have tickets and travel reservations to the upcoming match against Atletico Madrid are in for a rude awakening today after UEFA hit back at the Spanish club for racist remarks during their last Champions League match against Marseille.
Monkey chants aimed at Marseille’s black players, plus insults directed towards black journalists in the press box, have led to Uefa hitting Atletico with a three-game stadium ban – the third game suspended for five years – and a £120,000 fine.
Atletico have until noon on Friday to appeal, but that would not be heard until a meeting of Uefa’s appeal body on Sunday, leaving Liverpool officials and their supporters minimal time to make new arrangements.
Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry said: “To say the decision is a bit late in the day is to put it mildly.
“We have 3,000 fans going to the game and we are extremely concerned for our supporters, the vast majority of whom have already made travel arrangements.
“If the match is played at least 300 kilometres from Madrid, it will cause major disruption, inconvenience and large additional expense for our fans.
“Uefa have to take their needs into account when making a final decision on the game.”
However, spokesman William Gaillard has insisted that Uefa had no option but to impose a heavy sanction on Atletico. (Telegraph)
For Liverpool, the neutral site will surely be a huge advantage in what could be the deciding group match. For the supporters, however, the match will be a huge inconvenience since those with travel plans will have to figure out how to now budget in an extra 300 km.
The move is another ridiculous move by UEFA that could have been handled better. Instead of playing the match behind closed doors or moving the away leg to Anfield, UEFA have decided that a move away from Madrid is the best option.
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