UEFA orders partial closure of Atlético Madrid’s stadium

During the first leg of their quarterfinal last week, Atlético was defeated 1-0 by City thanks to a Kevin de Bruyne goal in the 70th minute while its fans were charged with “discriminatory behavior” and “throwing of objects.”

Atleti appealed the decision and the sanction was subsequently provisionally suspended by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), pending the conclusion of CAS proceedings.

According to reports from the Press Association, Atleti supporters were also filmed appearing to perform Nazi salutes during their team’s defeat.

In response, the UEFA Appeals Body sanctioned the club by ordering a sector of the stadium “to be closed, which shall at least comprehend 5,000 seats.”

Atlético Madrid must also “display a banner with the wording ‘#NoToRacism,’ with the UEFA logo on it.”

The sanction would have reduced the Wanda Metropolitano’s capacity from 68,456 to 63,456.

It is not the first time that UEFA has employed such a punishment. In 2019, it ordered Lazio’s stadium to partially close following the racist behavior of fans, while that same year Romania was forced to play a UEFA competitive match behind closed doors after its fans invaded the field of play, set off fireworks and threw objects.

On this occasion, however, CAS ruled that the sanction would not apply to the quarterfinal match against Man City.

In a statement, CAS said that “Atlético’s urgent request to stay the execution of the Challenged Decision was granted by CAS earlier today, considering the serious repercussions to local security if the partial stadium closure had to be enforced at this stage.

“The partial closure of 5000 seats of Atlético’s stadium will be automatically lifted after the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal match,” the statement continued.

CAS’ decision did not mention whether Atlético will have to display a ‘#NoToRacism’ banner.

When contacted for comment, UEFA referred CNN to the CAS statement, adding: “We don’t have any further comment to make at this stage.”

Atlético will look to overturn the 1-0 deficit to City as it seeks to advance to the semifinals of the Champions League, where it would face city rival Real Madrid.

Quoted from Various Sources

Published for: The Bloggers Briefing