Olympique Lyonnais (improper conduct of the team; field invasion by supporters; insufficient organization; setting off and throwing of fireworks; crowd disturbances; stairways blocked), Decision of 13 July 2017, UEFA Decision
Circumstances of the case
According to the official reports of UEFA Europa League match between Olympique Lyonnais and Beşiktaş, several incidents were reported regarding Olympique Lyonnais, such as insufficient organization, pitch invasions, crowd disturbances, setting off and throwing of fireworks, blocking of stairways and improper conduct of the team. The CEDB considered that a very harsh sanction needed to be imposed on the club, considering the extreme violence which broke out in the stands. The CEDB emphasised that such behaviour tarnishes the image of football, of UEFA and the UEFA Europa League. The CEDB also took into account the positive previous record of the club pertaining to crowd disturbances and decided to exclude Olympique Lyonnais from participating in the next UEFA club competition, deferring this exclusion for a probationary period of two (2) years. The club appealed the CEDB’s decision, requesting that the exclusion from participating in the next UEFA club competition is set aside and an amount of fine is fixed according to the principle of proportionality. In its appeal the club accepted the breaches established in the CEDB decision, but stated that the CEDB did not consider the club’s degree of fault and the sanctions imposed were disproportionate. The club also held that its right to equal treatment was violated in light of the significantly lower sanctions imposed on other clubs in the past in alleged similar circumstances.
Legal framework Article 15 (4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (DR). Article 16 (2) (a), (c) and (h) of the UEFA DR; Article 37 and Article 38 of the UEFA Safety and Security Regulations
On 19 April 2017, the CEDB decided to exclude Olympique Lyonnais from participating in the next UEFA club competition, deferred for a probationary period of two (2) years. The CEDB also imposed a fine of 100’000 on the club. The Appeals Body upheld the initial CEDB decision and rejected the appeal of Olympique Lyonnais. The Appeals Body considered that the CEDB neither abused nor exceeded its broad powers of discretion and that the measures imposed comply with the principles of legality and proportionality. The Appeals Body particularly agreed with the considerations of the CEDB regarding the behaviour of Olympique Lyonnais’ supporters. The Appeals Body considered that although it is clear that having so many supporters of the Visiting Club in the stadium did not help matters but, the fact that there is a large away support at a match should never be used as an excuse for violent behaviour by the home supporters. In this scenario, the Appeals Body decided that, considering the specific circumstances of the case, a combination of a fine and an exclusion was clearly appropriate.
Chairman: Pedro Tomás (Spain)
Michael Maessen (Netherlands)
Björn Ahlberg (Sweden)