Atletico Stadium Closure For Racist Abuse Overturned


Atlético Madrid have won an appeal to overturn a two-game partial stadium ban imposed by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) after Athletic Club player Nico Williams suffered racist abuse during a league game.

The RFEF’s Appeals Committee also annulled in Thursday’s ruling the €20,000 fine handed to Atlético by its Disciplinary Committee for the incident.

The LaLiga fixture between Atlético and Athletic on April 27 was stopped in the 36th minute by referee Juan Martínez Munuera as part of LaLiga’s protocol against racism after he heard abuse from the Wanda Metropolitano stands directed at Williams.

With the help of police, Atlético identified the perpetrator, who is a club member, and suspended him indefinitely.

According to the Appeals Committee, Atlético couldn’t have done anything to prevent the “isolated incident.”

“Both from the point of view of prevention and reaction, [Atlético deployed] measures that demonstrate behaviour of the greatest possible diligence,” the ruling said.

“The club’s active collaboration, the identification of the person responsible and the fact that it was an isolated incident, carried out by a single person, allows us to affirm that the maximum possible diligence was taken by the club. The attribution of responsibility could only arise from an objective liability that is not what is provided for in the regulations and is not admissible in the sanctioning area.”

Atletico are fourth in LaLiga with four games remaining and host Celta Vigo on Sunday.

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