Panathinaikos (overdue payables), Decision of 12 December 2017, UEFA Decision

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Circumstances of the case

On 8 November 2017, the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) Chief Investigator referred the case of the club Panathinaikos to the CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber due to the presence of overdue payables as at 30 September 2017. The club accepted the findings of the CFCB Chief Investigator, admitting the breach of Articles 65(1) and 66(1) of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations (CL&FFP Regulations). The club states that the aim of the club is to survive, comply with its obligations towards its creditors and asking for leniency considering its critical situation without harming the objectives of the UEFA’s Financial Fair Play System. The CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber determined that Panathinaikos has breached Articles 65(1) and 66(1) of the CL&FFP Regulations because it had overdue payables towards other football clubs and in respect to its employees as at 30 September 2017. The CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber deemed that an exclusion from the next UEFA club competition for which the Club would otherwise qualify in the next three (3) seasons and a fine of €200,000 are appropriate penalties. However, considering the circumstances and particularities of the case, the CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber decided that the exclusion as well as half of the fine, i.e. €100,000, will be lifted if the club is able to prove having paid the amounts or concluded an agreement with the creditors with regard to the amounts identified as overdue payables.

Decision

The Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) decided to exclude Panathinaikos from participating in the next UEFA club competition for which it would otherwise qualify in the next three (3) seasons (i.e. 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons), unless the club is able to prove by 1 March 2018 that it has paid the amounts or concluded an agreement with the creditors with regard to the amounts that were identified as overdue payables as at 30 September 2017.

The club was also fined €200,000, from which €100,000 is suspended and will only fall due in case the club is not able to prove by 1 March 2018 that it has paid the amounts or concluded an agreement with the creditors with regard to the amounts that were identified as overdue payables as at 30 September 2017.

Chairman: José Narciso da Cunha Rodrigues (Portugal)

Vice-Chairmen:
Christiann Timmermans (Netherlands)
Louis Peila (Switzerland)

Members:
Charles Flint (England)
Adam Giersz (Poland)

Everton FC (Aggressions by supporters against players, referees). Decision of 16th November 2017, UEFA Decision

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Circumstances of the case

The referee of the match reported that he “he was told by the Lyon Goalkeeper, Anthony Lopes, that he was pushed or touched by a spectator from the home crowd in the brawl between players in minute 64.” The club stressed that it was not negligent in any way in relation to the organization of the match, stressing that it does not tolerate any form of aggressive behavior from the side of its supporters. The club also argues that it fully complied with all rules and regulations regarding safety and security at the match, particularly with regard to the deployment of stewards. In the incident at hand, the stewards reacted quickly and efficiently. Finally, the club held that the supporter was identified by the police and might be facing criminal charges as well as a life ban from the stadium.

Legal Framework Article 16 (2) UEFA Disciplinary Regulations.

Decision

The CEDB on a preliminary note took into account the video footage of the incident from which it can be seen how the players of both teams engage in a confrontation behind and on the goalline, close to the stands behind the goal. During said confrontation the spectators who are sitting and standing at the scene, scream, yell and gesticulate in the direction of the players, while one home-team supporter who is apparently holding a young child on his arm throws a punch at one player from the visiting team. It goes without saying that such images are more than shocking and cannot be tolerated. The CEDB emphasized that in any case, there should never be a moment when players on the pitch engage in violent altercations, but this goes even more for spectators during a match. According to Article 8 DR, which stipulates the principle of "strict liability", and Article 16 (2) DR, which builds on this principle, a club is to be held responsible for the improper conduct of its supporters, even if it might not be at fault itself. In light of the foregoing, the CEDB decided that the club is to be held responsible for the improper conduct of its supporters in accordance with Article 16 (2) (h) DR and needed to be punished with a fine of €30’000.

Chairman: Partl Thomas (AUT)

Vice-Chairmen:
Berzi Sándor (HUN)
Hansen Jim Stjerne (DEN)

Members:
Antenen Jacques (SUI)
Gea Tomás (AND)
Leal João (POR)
Lorenz Hans (GER)
Řepka Rudolf (CZE)
Wolff Joël (LUX)

Sporting Clube de Portugal (Direct Red Card), Decision of 27 October 2017, UEFA Decision

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Circumstances of the case

The player wearing number 10 of Sporting Clube de Portugal, Borges Cabral Jovane Eduardo, in the 63rd minute, after a foul of a player of Juventus while the player of Juventus was still on the ground trying to get up, slapped him with an open hand on the back of the head. The referee sent off Borges Cabral Jovane Eduardo for violent conduct.

Legal framework Article 15 (1) (e) UEFA Disciplinary Regulations.

Decision

The CEDB deems that this is a highly aggressive act, threatening serious injury. It has nothing to do with the game and is simply a hostile act of physical violence. Consequently, the act of the player who struck the opponent player in the back on his head as described by the referee constitutes assault under the terms of Article 15 (1) (e) DR and shall be punished accordingly, in this case, considering the circumstances of the case, with a three match suspension.

Chairman: Partl Thomas (AUT)

Vice-Chairman: Hansen Jim Stjerne (DEN)

Member: Antenen Jacques (SUI)

FC Spartak Moskva (Setting off of fireworks; throwing of objects), Decision of 21 September 2017, UEFA Decision

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Circumstances of the case

In the 15th minute of the match, between 10-15 flares and Bengal lights were identified in the visiting sector of Spartak Moskva, followed by one rocket that was clearly fired from the stands in the direction of the pitch. The rocket followed the length of the pitch in direction of the center circle were the referee was positioned, missing the referee. According to the referee, the rocket missed him by approximately 5 meters. Following the incident, the match was immediately stopped for 2mins and 30 secs. In the 59th minute of the match, several red and white flares were again seen in the Spartak Moskva sector at the moment the away team scored 0-1. At the same time, some plastic cups were thrown on the pitch from the same North stands. The club argued that the incidents were caused by breaches of the host-team, allowing a large amount of unauthorized persons to get into the visiting sectors. Therefore, the missile which was shot into the direction of the referee was fired by a supporter of the club which was not among the club’s supporters who had received the tickets from the official ticket quota

Legal framework Article 16 (2) UEFA Disciplinary Regulations.

Decision

The CEDB stresses that an act such as firing fireworks onto the pitch has to be regarded as particularly dangerous and as a malicious act of violence and hooliganism which has no place in football in general and in the UEFA competitions such as the UEFA Champions League in particular. The CEDB further emphasized that any potential misconduct from the match organizer does not discharge the club from its responsibility regarding the behaviour of its supporters. Moreover, the CEDB could not concur with the differentiation made by the club between supporters who had purchased match tickets from the official ticket quota allocated to the club and “other supporters”, who had purchased their tickets through other channels. Bearing in mind the long previous record of the club and the seriousness of the incidents, the CEDB considers that, as a warning to future events linked to the conduct of the club´s supporters at away matches, a strong sanction is required, and deems that 60´000€ shall be deemed as the adequate disciplinary measure. In addition, the club is banned from selling tickets it its supporters for the next UEFA competition away match.

Chairman: Partl Thomas (AUT)

Vice-Chairmen:
Berzi Sándor (HUN)
Hansen Jim Stjerne (DEN)

Members:
Gea Tomás (AND)
Larumbe Beain Kepa (ESP)
Leal João (POR)
Řepka Rudolf (CZE)

GNK Dinamo (Setting off of fireworks; racist behaviour), Decision of 25 August 2017, UEFA Decision

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Circumstances of the case

The CEDB noted that the GNK Dinamo supporters displayed a banner in east stand with a "Celtic-cross". Likewise, approximately in the 46th minute into the game, several hundred of the club’s supporters started chanting “Mamiću, cigane, odlazi iz svetinje!” (Translation: “Mamić, you gypsy, get out of our shrine”). The chant was repeated several times during the 46th and 48th minutes into the game. Also six fireworks were lit by the club’s supporters. The club stated regarding the Celtic cross that this was the first time that its supporters have displayed such banner and that as soon as the UEFA Security Officer has noticed the banner and informed, the club’s security officer removed it. Regarding the chants directed against Mr. Mamic, the club explained that this is still used by the group of ultras as an expression of fight against the club’s ex-president, Mr. Zdravko Mamic and that this is not a case of classic racism.

Legal framework Article 16 (2) UEFA Disciplinary Regulations; Article 14 UEFA Disciplinary Regulations.

Decision

Regarding the Celtic cross, the CEDB that this is a symbol used by neo-Nazis worldwide and denotes “the supremacy of the white race”, i.e. a clearly racist symbol. AS regards the chants, the CEDB recalls that the Court of Arbitration for Sport already had the opportunity to examine the nature of this chant in the light of Article 14 DR. It concluded that the chant was of a racist nature. Briefly, supporters by using the term “gypsy” in an insulting manner denigrated hereby an ethnic group, thereby also violating Art. 14 DR. Since this case concerns a first infringement of Article 14(1) DR, the CEDB decided that the Club shall be punished with a partial stadium closure, as provided for in Article 14(2) DR. For the setting off of fireworks, the club was punished with a fine of €5’000.

Chairman: Partl Thomas (AUT)

Vice-Chairman: Berzi Sándor (HUN)

Member: Larumbe Beain Kepa (ESP)

KKS Lech Poznan (Setting off of fireworks) Decision of 17 August 2017, UEFA Decision

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Circumstances of the case

It was reported by the UEFA match delegate that the KKS Lech Poznań supporters lit around 45 Bengal lights in the 47th minute of the match at the exact same time. The club stated that it is disappointed by the behavior of this small group of supporters, however underlining that the incident did not result in any significant disturbance of the game, such as game stoppage or reduction of the TV coverage and that none of these Bengal lights were thrown.

Legal framework Article 16 (2) UEFA Disciplinary Regulations.

Decision

The CEDB referred to the principle of strict liability enshrined in Art. 8 and 16 (2) DR, noting that the club did not put forward any arguments in the present case which would breach the accuracy of the official UEFA report which expressly refers to the setting off of fireworks and is presumed to be accurate under Article 45 DR. The club merely referred to circumstances like that no major incidents derived from the ignition of the fireworks that are irrelevant for the assessment of the incident. The CEDB further recalled the previous record of the club, the very high number of fireworks and the potential risks created by doing so at the occasion of an away-match, and though that a fine of €30’000 and banning the club from selling tickets it its supporters for the next UEFA competition away match is the appropriate sanction.

Chairman: Partl Thomas (AUT)

Vice-Chairman: Hansen Jim Stjerne (DEN)

Members:
Antenen Jacques (SUI)
Gea Tomás (AND)
Leal João (POR)
Lorenz Hans (GER)
Wolff Joël (LUX)

PFC Ludogorets 1945 (Direct red card; stairways blocked; improper conduct of the team), Decision of 11 August 2017, UEFA Decision

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Circumstances of the case

PFC Ludogorets 1945 supporters blocked the stairways and the emergency exit gate in ‘Sector A2-A3’ (behind the goal) throughout the Match. No effort was made by the club’s stewards to address the problem. Also, the club’s player Nascimento Da Costa Marcelo was dismissed by the referee for “violent conduct” after hitting an opponent. In addition, four yellow cards were issued to the club’s players by the referee. PFC Ludogorets 1945 stated that the incident involving the Player involved “no excessive force or brutality”, and argues that the offence should be considered only to be “rough play” or “unsporting behavior”. The club also provides a video of the incident.

Legal framework Article 15 (1) (e) UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, Article 15 (4) UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, Article 38 UEFA Safety and Security Regulations

Decision

The CEDB reviewed the video evidence and noted that the player hit an opponent on the head. This act is described in the referee’s report as “violent conduct”, and this report carries the presumption of accuracy. Further, the video provided by the club clearly shows the player hitting an opponent. Consequently, the player’s behaviour during the match constitutes assault under the terms of Art. 15 (1) (e) DR and needs to be punished accordingly, in the present case with a three match suspension. With regard to the blocking of stairways and the blocking of stairways, the CEDB deemed a fine of €13’250 to be appropriate.

Chairman: Partl Thomas (AUT)

AS Monaco FC (Setting off of fireworks; Doping Control issue - Anti-doping reg), Decision of 20 July 2017, UEFA Decision

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Circumstances of the case

Several pyrotechnical devices were set off by AS Monaco supporters during the match, some of which with smoke development. Also, the AS Monaco players Valère Germain and Benjamin Mendy who were picked for a doping control, did not directly go to the DC room but went to their dressing room instead. The club in its statements argues that Valère Germain doesn´t speak English and could therefore not understand immediately what the assistant doping control officer told him. Regarding the player Mendy Benjamin, he had to leave the field of play at the 55th minute due to an injury. The player got the treatment immediately in the dressing room and he was only aware about the doping control after he was told when he got out of the “cold bath”.

Legal framework Article 16 (2) UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, Article 6 of the UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations

Decision

The CEDB underlined that it is of utmost importance in order to ensure the functioning and efficiency of the UEFA anti-doping programme that clubs respect and follow the regulations and directives set out by UEFA and act diligently when implementing such regulations. With regard to Mr. Germain, the CEDB deems that the above arguments put forward by the club are not sufficient to mitigate the fact that the player did not report to the doping control station immediately after the match, stating that understanding the language it is normally not necessary when approached by someone with a bib containing the wording “doping” on it. Regarding Mr. Mendy, the CEDB noted that the player was injured during the match and was already inside the dressing room when the draw took place. Hence, the CEDB deems that here the responsibility laid on the side of the club who was not able to properly inform the player in a timely manner. Thus, the club bears the responsibility over the incident. Overall, the CEDB decides to fine Mr. Germain € 5´000. In addition, the club is fined € 7´000 for its responsibility deriving from doping infringement and the improper conduct of its supporters.

Chairman: Partl Thomas (AUT)

Vice-Chairmen:
Berzi Sándor (HUN)
Hansen Jim Stjerne (DEN)

Members:
Antenen Jacques (SUI)
Gea Tomás (AND)
Leal João (POR)
Řepka Rudolf (CZE)

Besiktas (throwing of objects; setting off of fireworks; crowd disturbances), Decision of 13 July 2017, UEFA Decision

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Circumstances of the case

During the UEFA Europa League 2016/2017 match between Olympique Lyonnais and Beşiktaş on 13 April 2017 (the “Match”), several incidents involving both Olympique Lyonnais and Beşiktaş’ supporters were reported. The Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) considered it was established that Beşiktaş’ supporters ignited and threw fireworks towards Olympique Lyonnais’ supporters standing below their sector, causing the supporters to escape their sector and provoking a massive field invasion. Beşiktaş supporters created crowd disturbances during the match. The CEDB took into account that the club has been repeatedly sanctioned at away matches with significant fines and constantly warned about the grave consequences in persisting in this attitude. However, instead of an improvement, the incidents during the match in which the club’s supporters played a main role put in danger the life of spectators. The CEDB considered that the mere fact of throwing fireworks, which is inherently a dangerous object already for those lighting it, towards other supporters has no excuse. Added to it, the circumstance of throwing them from an elevated position towards spectators standing right below is definitely an aggravating circumstance. Also it caused an emergency situation by means of a massive field invasion. The CEDB decided on 19 April 2017 to exclude Beşiktaş from participating in the next UEFA club competition for which it will otherwise qualify (exclusion deferred for a probationary period of two (2) years) as well as to impose a fine of € 100’000. The club appealed stating that the sanctions imposed were disproportionate because it did not take into account mitigating factors. The club also held not being responsible for the behaviour of “non official” supporters.

Legal framework Article 16 (2) (b), (c) and (h) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations.

Decision

On 19 April 2017, the CEDB decided to exclude Beşiktaş from participating in the next UEFA club competition for which it will otherwise qualify. This exclusion is deferred for a probationary period of two (2) years. In addition, Beşiktaş is fine € 100’000. The Appeals Body rejected the appeal of Beşiktaş and upheld the initial CEDB’s decision and considered that the decision was not only justified, but the most lenient possible decision that could be taken in line with the applicable framework. The Appeals Body considered that the list of elements exposed by the CEDB constitutes enough basis for imposing the exclusion and the fine. The Appeals Body also established that the principle of strict liability applies regardless of fault and consequently, the club is responsible for any misconduct of their supporters, including the so called “unofficial” supporters.

Chairman: Pedro Tomás (Spain)

Members:
Michael Maessen (Netherlands)
Björn Ahlberg (Sweden)

Luxembourg Football Federation (player’s eligibility), Decision of 13 July 2017, UEFA Decision

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Circumstances of the case

By decision of the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body of 8 December 2016, the Luxembourg Football Federation player Dublin Yannis (the player) was suspended for the next three (3) UEFA competition matches for which he would be otherwise eligible. On 28 March 2017, the Luxembourg Football Federation played against the Football Federation of Kazakhstan in a European Under-21 Championship 2019 match (the match). The player was registered within the relevant player list, participated in the match and played for its full duration. The Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) decided that the Luxembourg Football Federation is responsible for the participation of a player whilst he had still pending suspensions violating Articles 43.01 and 43.07 of the 2017-19 UEFA European Under-21 Championship Regulations. In this context, in accordance with Article 21 (2) of the Disciplinary Regulations (edition 2016), the relevant match is declared forfeit. Consequently, as per Article 21 (4) (a) of the Disciplinary Regulations (edition 2016), the Luxembourg Football federation is considered to have lost the match 3:0. The club, in its appeal, argued that it never formally received the CEDB decision of 8 December 2016 regarding the possible suspension of the player and thus, the decision has to be regarded as null and void, having as consequence that the player was not ineligible at the occasion of the match against the Football Federation of Kazakhstan.

Legal framework Article 21 (2) and (4) (a) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (edition 2016). Articles 43.01 and 43.07 of the 2017-19 UEFA European Under-21 Championship Regulations.

Decision

On 18 May 2017, the CEDB decided to declare the European Under-21 Championship 2019 match Luxembourg vs. Kazakhstan played on 28 March 2017 as forfeit. The Luxembourg Football Federation is deemed to have lost the match 3:0. The appeal lodged by the Luxembourg Football Federation was dismissed by the Appeals Body and the decision of the CEDB of 18 May 2017 was confirmed. The Appeals Body indicated it was comfortably satisfied that the player was ineligible to play during the match against Kazakhstan, that the CEDB’s decision regarding the event triggering the ineligibility of the player was duly notified to the Luxembourg Football Federation, that in the hypothetical and unproven case that the Luxembourg Football Federation could not take note of the Decision, it was responsible for such circumstance and who should have made the necessary inquiry to UEFA.

Chairman: Pedro Tomás (Spain)

Members:
Michael Maessen (Netherlands)
Björn Ahlberg (Sweden)

Hapoel Beer Sheva – Shir Tzedek (Doping), Decision of 7th December 2017, UEFA Decision

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Circumstances of the case

On 22 August 2017, the Hapoel Beer Sheva player, Mr Shir Tzedek (the “Player”) underwent a doping control test after the UEFA Champions League match between Hapoel Sheva and NK Maribor. The analysis of the Player’s A sample revealed the presence of a substance called “octopamine”. In conformity with the WADA Prohibited List 2017, the above substance is prohibited in-competition under the category S6.b Specified Stimulants. On 22 September 2017, UEFA notified the player of this finding and of the fact that this may result in a possible antidoping rule violation. On 2 October 2017, disciplinary proceedings were instigated by UEFA against the player for Doping Offences (Art.13 DR). On 19 October 2017, UEFA confirmed to the player that the CEDB accepted the player’s voluntary provisional suspension.

Legal framework Article 2 (1) (a) of the UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations

Decision

The CEDB recognized that the player committed some mistakes with regard to the use of supplements, however due to his own limitation he had to rely on the experts of his club which seemed reasonable in this case. The CEDB considered that the starting suspension in this case should be 12 months suspension due to a normal degree of fault from an objective perspective. The CEDB then examined the jurisprudence and the mitigating subjective factors in this case to determine if a lower suspension was justified. The supplement concerned sold in Israel were not supposed to contain octopamine, however the company responsible for manufacturing and packing the product in question recognized that it is was possible that some bottles were mislabelled and contained octopamine. It was also recognized that the club expert failed in its obligation to check the product and the player had reason to believe he was safe using the product because he did not test positive at a prior test. In view of the above, the CEDB decided to suspend Mr Tzedek Shir for a period of eight (8) months from 19 October 2016, commencement date of his voluntary provisional suspension.

Ad-hoc Chairman: Hansen Jim Stjerne (DEN)

Vice-Chairman: Berzi Sándor (HUN)

Member: Antenen Jacques (SUI)

FK Austria Wien (Improper conduct of supporters; setting off of fireworks; kit infringement), Decision of 10 November 2017, UEFA Decision

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Circumstances of the case

Three incidents were reported by the UEFA match delegate: 1) Kit infringement: one of the players from Austria Wien had a track suit with advertising VERBAND on the back. 2) Incorrect behavior of supporters: In the 42nd minute a supporter managed to climb up on the roof of the fence of the South Tribune. He was taken by the police and kept by the police until the end of the match. He was fined by the police. 3) Setting off of fireworks: 4 Bengal lights were lit by Austria supporters in sector 3 in the South Tribune, behind the goal, when the players entered the pitch before kickoff of the first half, approximately 3 mins before the start of the match. The club admits the kit infringement and explains that the player was not aware of the information regarding clothing containing sponsors print. Likewise, the club admits that its supporter climbed the fence and held that, in the future, it will inform the stewards to pay special attention to ensure it does not happen again. Concerning the pyrotechnics the club noted that a great number of supporters entered the stadium without control from a part of the sector next to the away stand.

Legal Framework Article 16 (2) UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, Article 60.04 and 31.03 UEFA Kit Regulations, Article 55.01 UEFA Europa League Regulations.

Decision

The CEDB noted that all three violations of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations and the UEFA Kit Regulations were admitted by the club and it only remained for the Panel to find the appropriate sanction. In the present case, the CEDB identified and took into account the seriousness and multiplicity of the offences committed, the improper conduct of the club’s supporters, the kit infringement, the setting off of fireworks as well as the club’s previous record, noting that FK Austria Wien has already been punished for setting off of fireworks on numerous occasions. Overall, the CEDB deemed that a fine of €7’000 was appropriate for the setting off of fireworks and the improper conduct of its supporters, whereas a warning was warranted for the kit infringement.

Ad-hoc-Chairman: Hansen Jim Stjerne (DEN)

Paris Saint-Germain (Stairways blocked; Late Kick-off; Improper conduct of officials; Setting off of fireworks), Decision of 19 October 2017, UEFA Decision

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Circumstances of the case

Home-club supporters in several sectors were blocking the stairways during whole match. Before kick-off, home supporters lit three flares. Late kick-off of 2min30secs, due to the fact that the home team left the dressing room late. They were also late in the second half (2mins). The club argues that ultra-supporters occupied the sectors in which the stairways were blocked, emphasizing that that people could circulate, causing no blocking. Regarding the setting off fireworks, the club insists that it was an isolated incident occurring before the match. The security responsible acted immediately and recover the fireworks. With regard to the late kick-off infringement, the medical staff had to intervene to treat the player Neymar.” The club further rejects the responsibility of the coach in this kind of incidents as the principle of strict liability is not design to cover also such situations.

Legal Framework Article 38 Safety and Security Regulations; Article 11 (2) UEFA Disciplinary Regulations; Article 16 (2) UEFA Disciplinary Regulations

Decision

With regard to the fireworks, the CEDB noted that the club did not put forward any arguments which would breach the accuracy of the official UEFA report which expressly refers to the setting off of fireworks and is presumed to be accurate under Article 45 DR. The CEDB noted the same with regard to the blocking of stairways, stressing that the efforts made by the club are to be expected since they merely constitute the club’s obligations pertaining to Art. 38 SSR. As regards the late kick-off, the CEDB stressed that respect needs to be paid to the nature of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA’s flagship club competition, and that clubs needs to respect the principle of equal treatment and opportunities, as both teams are entitled to and need to be given the same duration of preparation prior to the match. The CEDB is willing to accept the arguments of the club as regards the lack of responsibility of his head coach with regard to the late kick off infringement and the injury of one of the players. In this particular case, the CEDB is comfortable satisfied that only the club shall be held responsible for the late kick-off of its team. Regarding the three mentioned infringements, the CEDB took into account the previous record of the club with regard to all three infringements and deemed that a fine of €40’000 is the appropriate sanction.

Chairman: Partl Thomas (AUT)

Vice-Chairman: Hansen Jim Stjerne (DEN)

Members:
Antenen Jacques (SUI)
Wolff Joël (LUX)
Gea Tomás (AND)
Hans Lorenz (GER)
Larumbe Beain Kepa (ESP)
Joao Leal (POR)

England Women (Doping Control issue; Insulting / molesting acts), Decision of 21 September 207, UEFA Decision

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Circumstances of the case

In the 60th min of the match, the England official Mark Sampson was verbally abusive to the UEFA VD, telling her "You better sit down, you little shit!" After the match, the Referee Liaison Officer was standing outside the referee changing room when the same official shouted aggressively at her: "You’re a fucking disgrace, it’s a fucking shame". He then picked up a metal pillar raising it above his head aggressively before throwing it down hard against the floor, shutting the door to the corridor, saying, "I’m going to close the fucking door in your fucking face". Also, the England player Jade Moore was selected for doping control. Instead of going directly to the Doping Control Room, she went to the team dressing room, followed by the chaperone. The association argues that neither the venue director or referee observer was a match official according to the UEFA regulations, i.e. Art. 15 (1) (d) DR does not apply. The association accepted the use of inappropriate language by its official as well as the metal pole interaction described in the delegate´s report while however pointing to a number of factual discrepancies between statements and the delegate´s report. Finally, Mr. Sampson apologizes for any inappropriate language he used both during and after the game. With regard to the doping control, the failure to go straight from the pitch to the doping control room was the result of an honest mistake following defeat in a semi-final and Ms Moore was only in the dressing room for a very short period of time.

Legal Framework Article 13 UEFA Disciplinary Regulations; Article 15 (1) (d) UEFA Disciplinary Regulations; Article 6 of the UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations.

Decision

The CEDB explained that Art. 15 DR should be understood as an attempt by UEFA to protect officials who, in the context of a match, exercise a function that warrants particular respect. If UEFA would accept that officials act in the aggressive, insulting and insisting manner, then the needed relation of respect will end instantaneously. With regard to the doping-control incident, the CEDB emphasized that it is crucial that every player who is selected to participate in doping control reports to the doping control station immediately - otherwise the accuracy and integrity of the testing procedure is undermined. Regarding the England official, the CEDB deemed that a three match suspension is the adequate disciplinary measure regarding the circumstances of this case. The CEDB further warned the England player for her behaviour.

Chairman: Partl Thomas (AUT)

Vice-Chairmen:
Berzi Sándor (HUN)
Hansen Jim Stjerne (DEN)

Members:
Gea Tomás (AND)
Larumbe Beain Kepa (ESP)
Leal João (POR)
Řepka Rudolf (CZE)

Legia Warszawa (Setting off of fireworks; illicit banner), Decision of 17 August 2017, UEFA Decision

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Circumstances of the case

It was reported by the UEFA match delegate that the Legia Warszawa supporters staged an antiUEFA protest about 30 minutes before kick-off, unfurling a banner making reference to the €35’000 fine imposed on the club by UEFA. As the teams entered the pitch, a large banner was displayed implying that UEFA are pigs, additionally holding up blow-up plastic pigs. As the teams entered the pitch, a large amount of flares were ignited on either side of the banner. It was impossible to count the number, but it was more than likely to be in excess of 50.

Legal framework Article 16 (2) UEFA Disciplinary Regulations

Decision

With regards to the banner, the CEDB takes this opportunity to recall, that it cannot allow football matches organized by UEFA to become forums for people who want to abuse the game’s popularity to publicize their political or religious opinions. The CEDB further recalled that the setting off fireworks is a serious offence because not only can it disrupt the orderly running of the match but also, and more importantly, it can endanger the physical integrity of the persons who are lighting the fireworks, other spectators, officials and even the players on the pitch. In view of the long previous record of the club and the very negative picture and attitude of both the club supporters and the club itself, who is not able or willing to face a dramatic situation relating to the attitude of its supporters and to accept to comply with the UEFA disciplinary measures imposed against it, the CEDB deems that a partial closure and a fine €50´000 shall be deemed as the adequate disciplinary measures.

Chairman: Partl Thomas (AUT)

Vice-Chairman: Berzi Sándor (HUN)

Member: Larumbe Beain Kepa (ESP)

FC Viktoria Plzen (Direct Red Card; Throwing of objects; Stairways blocked; improper conduct of the team) Decision of 11 August 2017, UEFA Decision

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Circumstances of the case

FC Viktoria Plzeň supporters blocked stairways in the North stand during the Match and a plastic cup was thrown onto the pitch by one of the club’s supporters in the North stand in the 78th minute of the Match. Also, the club’s player Krmencik Michal (the “Player”) was dismissed by the referee because he “hit with his arm using excessive force against the face of his opponent”. In addition, eight (8) yellow cards were issued to the Club’s players by the referee. In its statement, the club suggests that the throwing of objects was not serious and claims that the delegate’s report is confusing as regards the duration of the blocked stairways

Legal framework Article 16 (2) UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, Article 6 of the UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations

Decision

Regarding the red card, the CEDB noted that hitting an opponent in the face is obviously very dangerous and that Player was clearly reckless in his actions, which constitutes an assault (Art. 15 (1) (e) DR) and decided to punish the player with a three-match suspension. With regard to the throwing of objects and the blocking of stairways the CEDB noted that the club did not provide any evidence which would proof the inaccuracy of the official reports and thought, also taking into account the improper conduct of the team, that a fine of €28’000 is the appropriate sanction.

Chairman: Partl Thomas (AUT)

Linfield FC (Throwing of objects; field invasions by supporters), Decision of 20 July 2017, UEFA Decision

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Circumstances of the case

As a reaction to the second goal scored by Celtic FC, the club’s players were celebrating at the corner flag in front of the North stand. Supporters of Linfield FC threw a plastic bottle and a cigarette lighter onto the pitch without hitting any player. In numerous occasions during the match, Linfield FC supporters threw items such as coins and plastic bottles towards the player, some of the items hitting the respective players. In the 73rd minute, a Linfield FC supporter jumped from the stand to pitch level but was immediately caught and pushed back into the stand by stewards. The club in its statements referred to the intensive security measures it implemented in such a high risk match, pointing to the fact that most of the incidents were a reaction to previous provocations by Celtic FC players.

Legal Framework Article 16 (2) UEFA Disciplinary Regulations.

Decision

With regard to the throwing of objects, the CEDB noted that a large number of object were thrown onto the field of play on several occasions. In particular, when a specific Celtic FC player wanted to take a corner kick during the match, the club´s supporters threw a large number of objects towards him, some of them according to the UEFA security officer hitting the player. The question as if those objects hit the player is irrelevant when assessing the responsibility of the club for the misconduct contemplated in Article 16 (2) (b) DR. The same stands as for the arguments referring to a previous provocation of the Celtic FC player, as well as for the pitch invasion which was admitted by the club. In view of the seriousness and multiplicity of the offences committed and the club’s previous record, the CEDB decided to order the partial closure of the Linfield FC Stadium during the next UEFA competition match in which Linfield FC would play as the host club, and, in particular Linfield FC shall closed South stand lower sector I of the stadium. In addition, the club is fined €10’000.

Chairman: Partl Thomas (AUT)

Vice-Chairmen:
Berzi Sándor (HUN)
Hansen Jim Stjerne (DEN)

Members: Gea Tomás (AND)
Leal João (POR)
Řepka Rudolf (CZE)
Wolff Joël (LUX)

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

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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

Decision

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)

Members:
Michael Maessen (Netherlands)
Björn Ahlberg (Sweden)

FC Porto (throwing of objects; setting off of fireworks), Decision of 13 July 2017, UEFA Decision

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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.

Decision

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)

Members:
Michael Maessen (Netherlands)
Björn Ahlberg (Sweden)

FK Crvena Zvezda (stairways blocked; doping control issues) - Decision 7 July 2017, UEFA Decision

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Circumstances of the case

The UEFA match delegate reported that in the central section of the North Stand of the stadium, FK Crvena Zvezda supporters were standing and blocking stairways during the whole game, impeding the free flow of spectators. Also, it was reported that during the half time break the club’s supporters in the front row of the North Stand displayed a small flag featuring a portrait of Dragoljub Mihailović, a Yugoslav Serb general during the World War II involved in ethnic cleansing. FK Crvena Zvezda supporters also displayed a large text banner reading “Let babies be born, it is the message of the North [stand], we do not want Serbia to be a land of faggots”) and chanted the same slogan. Regarding the alleged homophobic message, the club stated that the violation was rather discriminatory than racist. The club denies the occurrence of the racist incident, arguing that an interpretation was given to the Mihailović banner which did not reflect the truth. Regarding the blocking of stairways, the club stated that the incident occurred solely on one tribune

Legal framework Article 14 UEFA Disciplinary Regulations and Article 38 Safety and Security Regulations

Decision

In the present case, the CEDB recalled that the fight against racism and any form of xenophobic behaviour is a high priority for UEFA. UEFA has a policy of zero tolerance towards racism and discrimination on the pitch and in the stands. With regard to the homophobic banner, the CEDB could not make any sense of which the club would point to the assumption that the incident was rather discriminatory than racist, when both behaviours would obviously violate Art. 14 of the DR. Regarding the banner showing Dragoljub Mihailović, the CEDB was however not convinced whether such banner was in fact racist or discriminatory, given that there were in fact several possible interpretations which could possibly be given to the banner. Bearing in mind the previous record of the club with regard to Art. 14 DR violations, the CEDB decided to order the partial closure of the club’s stadium during the next UEFA competition match in which the club would play as the host club, and in particular of the entire North Stand. Regarding the blocking of stairways, the CEDB decided that that a fine of € 8’000 is the adequate sanction.

 

Chairman: Partl Thomas (AUT)


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