Atletico de Madrid’s two-match home stadium ban for Champions League games has been reduced to one match played behind closed doors following an appeal, UEFA said in a statement yesterday.
Los Rojiblancos had originally been ordered to play their next two European fixtures at least 300km outside Madrid, with a home stadium ban for a third game if there was further trouble.
Atletico were punished after crowd problems marred their Champions League home match with Olympique Marseille on Oct 1st after the savage French destroyed the seats of the stadium and attacked the police.
The appeals body said Atletico would now have to play their next Group D home Champions League game, against PSV Eindhoven on Nov. 26, without any spectators.
A further match behind closed doors will be imposed for any further incidents that take place in the next two years.
The original sanctions were handed down following crowd trouble during their 2-1 win over Marseille, including alleged racist chanting by the Madrid fans.
I attended that game in Vicente Calderón Stadium and I still can’t believe that, first, UEFA are judging the actions of the Spanish Police Body, it’s just unbelievable. Regarding the racist chanting, is it our fault that they can’t distinguish between Uh uh uh uh uh and Kun Kun Kun Kun? I don’t think so.
The appeals body upheld the two-match ban on Atletico coach Javier Aguirre, who was accused of insulting a Marseille player.
The original fine of €150,000 against the club will also stand.
Obviously Atletico will appleal the Court of Arbitration for Sport to claim justice.
Here is a very self explanatory video of how the Marseille fans behaved in El Calderón: