Laying down the law….sort of..

On Thursday, UEFA’s Control and Disciplinary Committee imposed fines on several clubs for incidents from recent matchdays in both the Champions League and UEFA Cup.

+ Lyon were fined 3,200 Euros for what has been noted as “incidents of an unsporting nature” in the first leg of their knockout tie against Manchester United. This relates to the Lyon fan in the crowd who shone a laser pointer in Cristiano Ronaldo’s eyes during the course of the warmups.

+ Everton and Norwegian side SK Brann have been fined 3,200 and 9,611 Euros respectively. There were pitch invasions by both sets of fans as well as the throwing of missiles and fireworks from the Norwegians. Brann may appeal within three days, while Everton’s decision is final.

+ Spanish side Club Atlético de Madrid have been fined 19,206 Euros and English opponents Bolton Wanderers FC 6,401 Euros for incidents at the UEFA Cup Round of 32 second-leg game in Spain on February 21st. Atlético were punished for the throwing of missiles and fireworks by spectators, crowd disturbances and insufficient organisation, while Bolton were fined for crowd disturbances. Both clubs may lodge appeals within three days of receipt of the grounds for the decision.

+ A decision in the case involving the alleged racial abuse of Olympique de Marseille players by spectators at the UEFA Cup Round of 16 match against FC Zenit St. Petersburg in Russia on March 12th was postponed until the next meeting of the committee. A disciplinary inspector has been mandated to conduct further investigations.

I applaud the decision to fine or sanction clubs for unruly crowd behaviour but are these penalties strong enough? For a club like Atletico or Bolton, perhaps they should be fined half or all of what they were set to earn from that round of competition. These slaps on the wrist do not seem to be doing much to control the crowd violence which continues to sully the image of the beautiful game.

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