There will have been many Liverpool fans thinking they had made the necessary arrangements for their trip over to Madrid for the mouth watering Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid on October 22nd. The holidays off work were booked, the passports were in a safe memorable place, maybe a sneaky little loan was acquired to have just enough money and the means of transport over to Spain were sorted. That’s mostly all everyone had to worry about wasn’t it?
But this morning, Uefa dealt a nasty blow to all the reds’ plans and their pockts, with a decision to move the upcoming European match to a neutral venue some 200 miles away from Madrid. With only eight days to go before the game.
Uefa has imposed a two-match home ban on Atletico after trouble at their last Champions League game versus Marseille. But why should this burden Liverpool fans when Liverpool Football Club and it’s fans, had nothing to do with events that took place at that game with Marseille?
Sometimes you begin to feel you can’t do anything right in the eyes of certain authority. Most certainly in this case, Liverpool fans seem to be the victim of someone elses wrong doing. And Uefa should have taken that on board before they sprung the late news of a venue switch. Just as much as it’s a terrible stressful burden on reds departing from the city of Liverpool, there is also people who will have travelled from the other side of the world to witness this game. And not to mention Liverpool and ex Liverpool players personally looking forward to a very special occasion.
Things could actually get worse where altering plans are concerned too. With just eight days remaining until the game, Atletico are understood to be making an appeal, which would mean a final decision of a stadium switch would be made at the weekend.
A Uefa spokeman had this to say.
“Club Atletico de Madrid have been handed a stadium ban for three UEFA club competition matches by the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Committee, following incidents at the UEFA Champions League Group D game against Olympique de Marseille on October 1.
“The ban for the third UEFA club competition match is deferred for a probationary period of five years, meaning that if Atletico progress to the knockout stages they could be allowed to return to the Vicente Calderon. Atletico were charged with a lack of organisation at the match, which led to crowd incidents, and for the improper conduct of their supporters..”
“The Spanish club were also fined 150,000 euros for the offences.
“Consequently, Atletico must play their next two home UEFA Champions League matches in a stadium situated at least 300km from Madrid.
“The two-match stadium ban will apply to Atletico’s games against Liverpool FC on 22 October, and against PSV Eindhoven on 26 November.”
Rick Parry had this to say after Liverpool Football Club contacted Uefa about their strong concerns for Liverpool fans.
“To say the decision is a bit late in the day, is to put it mildly,”
“We have 3,000 fans going to the game and we are extremely concerned for our supporters, the vast majority of whom have already made travel arrangements.
“If the match is played at least 300 kilometres from Madrid, it will cause major disruption, inconvenience and large additional expense for our fans.
“UEFA have to take their needs into account when making a final decision on the game.”