Athletic Club Sanctioned By UEFA Due To Incidents That Occurred Against Spartak Moscow Last Season
When Athletic Club hosted Spartak Moscow on 22 February, 2018 it was already known that is was going to be a difficult night. The fans of the Russia club have a history of violence and the police in Bilbao tried their best to prepare for what was inevitably going to happen. Before the game even started the fans began to cause problems in the streets around the San Mamés and eventually some Athletic fans retaliated. In the end nine people were arrested and three were wounded. One police officer also passed away due to a heart attack suffered during the events.
Since March the UEFA Disciplinary Committee has been studying the incident and were rumored to be bringing sanctions as a result. On Tuesday, Athletic Club officially announced that a ruling has been made which will see the Basque giants pay a fine of €40,000 and will have their seating capacity reduced by 2,000 in their next European match hosted at the San Mamés. In response the club has made the decision to appeal the ruling that was handed down.
Understandably, many Athletic fans are not happy with the ruling. They believe that the incident was caused by Spartak fans and that most of the locals involved were merely trying to defend themselves. At the same time, a lot of people just want to put the night behind them and move on from the bad memory. Whatever the case, Athletic’s decision to appeal the ruling shows that they do not believe they hold all of the responsibility and it will be interesting to see how things go from here.