City fans free to keep on booing Champions League anthem
LONDON: Manchester City supporters are free to boo the Champions League anthem without landing the club in trouble after it emerged UEFA have amended their rules on the matter.
City fans have vented their frustration with European football’s governing body over a number of issues by jeering throughout the pre-match music in recent years.
It came to a head in October 2015 when UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against City for ‘disruption of the competition anthem’ before a Champions League match against Sevilla, although a disciplinary panel later imposed no punishment.
UEFA were bound by their own rules to take action against any booing of the anthem but changes to those regulations took effect from July 1, leaving City fans free to continue demonstrating.
The main cause of their anger was UEFA’s decision to impose a £49 million (RM273 million) fine and limit City’s Champions League squad for breaching Financial Fair Play rules in 2014, with City seeing FFP as an attempt to block their entry into Europe’s elite.
City were also furious that CSKA Moscow escaped punishment in October 2014 when 300 home fans were allowed to watch a Champions League match in Russia despite UEFA ordering the game to be played behind closed doors because of a series of crowd disturbances involving CSKA supporters.
The sense of frustration among City fans dates back to 2012 when Porto were fined only £18,000 after their fans racially abused Mario Balotelli in a Europa League game, but City were hit with a £27,000 fine the following month when their players came out a minute late for the second half against Sporting Lisbon.
Meanwhile, City are confident they have not breached UEFA’s financial regulations this summer despite spending an estimated £216 million, a record in a single transfer window. Daily Mail