UEFA impose partial stadium closure on Paris Saint-Germain
UEFA, European football’s governing body, yesterday (23 July) imposed a partial stadium closure for one match on French side Paris Saint-Germain after finding them guilty of discriminatory conduct towards disabled Chelsea supporters.
Proceedings against the Ligue 1 champions were opened in May under article 14 of UEFA’s disciplinary regulations for racism, other discriminatory conduct and propaganda. This is the first time that UEFA has charged a club with abusing disabled fans.
The match played on 2 April, a UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg, saw disabled Chelsea supporters accommodated below a section of home supporters who they alleged abused, threatened and threw bottles and spat at them.
Joyce Cook OBE, Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE) Managing Director, said: “We welcome the determined decision taken by UEFA which sends a clear message to all clubs that abuse of disabled fans will not be tolerated.
“CAFE understands that this was a particularly unpleasant incident with the Chelsea disabled fans abused and threatened by a minority of home fans whom they were confronted by based on being in the wrong place through no fault of their own.
“This could have happened at a number of European clubs where disabled away fans have no choice but to sit with the opposing home fans and we have had other reports of similar incidents in the past. It is discriminatory to provide a disabled person with a lesser experience and fans naturally want to sit with their own fans as a part of the match day experience.”
More information about UEFA’s disciplinary division can be found here.