European football’s governing body (UEFA) has ordered the partial closure of Atlético Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium for its Champions League quarterfinal second leg against Manchester City on Wednesday as a sanction for the behavior of its supporters.
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.”
According to reports from the Press Association, Atleti supporters were also filmed appearing to perform Nazi salutes during their team’s defeat.
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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 will reduce 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.
Atletico 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 either Chelsea or Real Madrid.