FC Porto (throwing of objects; setting off of fireworks), Decision of 13 July 2017, UEFA Decision
Circumstances of the case
According to the official reports of the referee and the delegate of the UEFA Champions League 2016/2017 match between FC Porto and Juventus Football Club on 22 February 2017, coins were thrown at match officials by FC Porto’s supporters during the match and one coin actually hit the referee. It was also reported that fireworks were ignited on three occasions during the match, resulting in loud bangs. On 23 February 2017, the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) decided that FC Porto had breached Article 16 (2) (b) and (c) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations and imposed FC Porto a fine.
The club in its appeal stated that the delegate’s report contradicts the referee’s report, since according to the delegate’s report no coins were provided to him by the match officials and no coins were found on the pitch after the match. FC Porto also suggests that neither the delegate nor the referee knew what caused the loud bangs. FC Porto concludes that it was impossible for the standard of proof of comfortable satisfaction to be reached.
Legal Framework Article 16 (2) (b) and (c) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations.
On 23 March 2017, the CEDB decided to fine FC Porto €17,000. The CEDB indicated being more than comfortably satisfied that coins were thrown during the match – in particular, since the referee himself actually describes being hit by a coin in his report. The CEDB concluded that the mere absence of the coins cannot disprove the accuracy of a firsthand account by the referee for the match which expressly describes coins being thrown. As to the setting off of fireworks, the CEDB noted that the referee and the delegate are both experienced officials having experienced multiple incidents of fireworks and considered that a simple statement from the club alleging other cause is not sufficient to disprove the accuracy of the official reports. The Appeals Body upheld the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body’s decision of 23 March 2017 and rejected the appeal of FC Porto.
Chairman: Pedro Tomás (Spain)
Michael Maessen (Netherlands)
Björn Ahlberg (Sweden)