Facing abuse and anger over its decision to ban Manchester City, the English soccer champion, from its competitions, European soccer’s governing body this week took the unusual step of ordering its staff members not to wear branded clothing when they travel to matches involving the team, or even to games played in Manchester.
Manchester City fans have fumed for years about what they consider the mistreatment of their club by UEFA. But that anger has increased since Feb. 14, when UEFA issued Manchester City a two-season ban from the Champions League, starting next season, and a fine of 30 million euros ($27 million) after an investigation into accusations that City had violated UEFA’s cost-control regulations 안전놀이터.
But fan vitriol — taking aim not only at UEFA and its executives but also at news media outlets that have reporters on the case and individual journalists — has continued to appear on social media and fan message boards and even inside City’s stadium, where last week fans displayed signs that called UEFA a “mafia” and a “cartel.”
UEFA will take the same precautions when the two teams meet for the deciding game in Manchester on March 17.
A spokesman for UEFA declined to comment on the memo, saying the organization does not discuss the safety guidance it gives to its employees.
Manchester City fans’ antipathy toward UEFA predates the European ban. Spectators have long jeered the Champions League anthem when it is played before matches in the competition, amid a festering sense that the team — which was lifted out of decades of mediocrity by the riches of its Gulf ownership group — is treated unfairly because it is not a part of soccer’s established elite.