Barcelona to appeal fine for King’s Cup final booing

Barcelona, July 28 (IANS) Spanish football club Barcelona have confirmed they will appeal against the fine imposed on the outfit as a result of the booing and whistling of the Spanish national anthem ahead of the King’s Cup final on May 30.

The club has described the 66,000 euros fine as “unjust and unacceptable” imposed after the vast majority of supporters in Camp Nou for the game between Barcelona and Athletic Club Bilbao booed the Spanish national anthem, reports Xinhua.

Athletic have been hit with an 18,000 euro fine by the Spanish Anti-Violence Committee while the Spanish Football Federation, who organise the competition, have been fined 123,000 euros and pro-Catalan independence group Catalonia Action, 100,000 euros after the committee considered it to have instigated and promoted the booing.

Barcelona’s fine is 6,000 euros for the booing of the national anthem which was drowned out by the chorus of boos and whistles, while the remaining 60,000 is for supposed “deficiencies” in the organisation of the game, which was held in Barcelona’s stadium.

Around 60,000 Athletic Club supporters made the seven-hour trip to Barcelona for the game and there was not one incidence of violence either before or after the match, which Barcelona won 3-1.

Athletic have not yet said whether or not they will appeal, but it is likely they will after midfielder Mikel San Jose (a Spain international) said on Monday that rather than a fine, Athletic’s supporters deserved “a prize” for their exemplary behaviour on the day.

This fine comes less than a week after Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) fined Barcelona 30,000 euros after supporters displayed pro-Catalan independence flags in this season’s Champions League final. The club has also said it will appeal against that decision.


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