I know UEFA holds their Champions League anthem in high regard because they make the players all line up before the game and play the anthem as if it’s like a national anthem. So while this is completely absurd to charge someone for expressing free speech, UEFA charging Manchester City for fans booing the UEFA Champions League anthem doesn’t seem shocking at all.
This is a video of Manchester City fans booing the anthem from last months game against Juventus.
Manchester City fans, among many fans of other teams have had an unfavorable view of UEFA in recent months. UEFA President Michel Platini isn’t suspended from his UEFA duties but has been suspended from his FIFA duties for his involvement in a payment from FIFA President Sepp Blatter. Also, specific to Manchester City, their fans have been against UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, UEFA didn’t punish CSKA Moscow enough for their racial abuse of Yaya Toure in 2013 and the Champions League seeding structure, long believed to be favoring long standing, established teams and make it tougher for other teams to make an impact.
Shocking isn’t the right word because this isn’t shocking at all, astounding is the right word. It is just astounding to me that UEFA is so vain to charge a team with the same intensity as they charge a team for racist fans, which also happened yesterday. UEFA charged Dynamo Kyiv for racism as Dynamo Kyiv fans racially attacked fellow Dynamo Kyiv fans who were black.
Who knows, maybe UEFA needs to have another campaign. They have a “Say NO to Racism” campaign to try and end racism although it seems as if it’s done as much for photo ops than ending actual racism in European soccer. Maybe UEFA needs to launch another campaign, a “No Criticizing the Champions League Anthem” campaign and see if that works.