Why do Man City fans boo the Uefa Champions League anthem?
MANCHESTER City made history securing their first Champions League win in 2023.
But City fans are known for booing the anthem – why do they do this?
Why do Man City fans boo the Champions League anthem?
Man City supporters didn’t start booing the anthem over night.
Fans took a dislike to Uefa after some contentious decisions.
It began during the 2011-12 Europa League campaign, when Porto were fined 20,000 euros due to fans racially abusing former City striker Mario Balotelli.
However, a month later Citizens received a 30,000 euro fine for returning to the pitch 30 seconds late for the second half during their fixture against Sporting Lisbon.
Fans dislike grew in 2014 when Uefa hit them with a £49million fine for breaking Financial Fair Play rules, along with transfer spending and squad size restrictions.
Later that year tensions peaked when City fans had pre-booked flights and hotel rooms to watch the club’s match against CSKA Moscow, later learning the Russian club had a stadium ban.
Despite this, some City supporters attempted to enter the stadium but were stopped despite hundreds of CSKA fans being inside the stadium in front of Uefa delegates.
The Moscow club did have their ban reduced due to an appeal but received no sanctions or consequences.
In February 2017, City were due to face Dynamo Kyiv in the Round of 16, the game was due to be played behind closed doors and fans knew not to travel abroad.
However, Uefa overturned the ban weeks before the game but it was too late for City fans to arrange any travel or accommodation.
What other teams boo the Champions League anthem?
Manchester City isn’t the only team that has booed the Champions League anthem.
In 2018, Barcelona fans whistled throughout the anthem before a match against Tottenham.
Fans’ dislike began in 2015, when fans showed their support for Catalan independence by showing the Estelada flag.
Barcelona was fined £21,000 and later £28,000 due to a repeat offence during the 2015-2016 season in a match with Bayer Leverkusen.
Uefa consider the flag to be a political symbol and it’s therefore banned, despite it representing the separatist movement to separate Catalonia from Spain.
Can fans be punished for booing the Champions league anthem?
European clubs cannot be punished for their supporters booing the Champions League anthem or any other Uefa themes after the governing body decided to alter its disciplinary regulations.
In October 2015, the Uefa match delegate at Man City’s home Champions League game reported the club for breaching regulations surrounding supporter behaviour when fans booed the anthem.
However, Uefa’s disciplinary body ruled City wasn’t going to be sanctioned after reviewing the case as they believed fans should be able to express their dissent.
The body also decided to update regulations as a consequence of similar cases.
Article 16G of Uefa’s measures previously stated in 2015 that associations and clubs would be liable for disruption during national and competition anthems.
However, the change meant the reference to competitions was removed and instead they’re only responsible for supporters causing a disturbance during national anthems.
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