MOSCOW, November 6. /TASS/. CSKA Moscow FC is unaware of its fans reported appearance at a stadium in England during the club’s Champions League away encounter with Manchester City FC on Wednesday, but if the incident did take place it should be blamed on the hosts, CSKA Director General Roman Babayev said on Thursday.
The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) imposed in early October a set of sanctions against CSKA Moscow over its fans’ behavior during the club’s match against AS Roma in September with one of the penalties stipulating a ban for CSKA fans at stadiums during the club’s two visiting matches of the Champions League group stage.
“We know nothing about this,” Babayev said. “Even if it did take place, the club has nothing to do with it. It is because the tickets were distributed by the club from Manchester, and even if our fans did get there (to the stadium), it is the problem of the hosting side.”
During the match at the Manchester Stadium that ended 2-1 in favor of the Russian side, several British journalists wrote on their Twitter accounts that fans of the Moscow club were spotted present in the stands despite UEFA’s ban. The journalists tweeted that CSKA fans strongly reacted after their club scored the first goal and then were asked to leave the stadium.
Two weeks ago CSKA Moscow hosted Manchester United in Moscow and the Group E encounter ended with 2-2 draw. The match on the night of October of 21 was held at the Arena-Khimki in front of empty stands for spectators due UEFA’ imposed penalties on the Moscow football club.
On October 3, UEFA ordered CSKA to play its next three UEFA competition home matches behind closed doors. In addition the club was fined €200,000 (over $253,000). UEFA also announced that the club was “banned from selling tickets to their fans for the next two UEFA Champions League group stage games, which the club will play as the visiting side.”
The Russian club filed an appeal and last week UEFA partially upheld the motion from CSKA and softened its penalties against the Moscow football club.
CSKA were ordered to play their next three UEFA competition matches as host club behind closed doors. The latest is suspended for a probationary period of five years,” the statement from the UEFA Appeals Body said on Tuesday last week.
The statement also said, however, that “CSKA remain banned from selling tickets to their fans for the next two UEFA Champions League group stage games which the club will play as the visiting side.”
The match against AS Roma, which ended with CSKA’s crushing 1-5 defeat, was held on September 17 in the Italian capital. CSKA Moscow’s fans began casting flares starting after the 71st minute of the match and also attempted to force their way to another sector of the stadium from the one, where they were seated.
The Russian club’s fans also entered a scuffle with AS Roma fans before the match but police managed to disperse the fighting parties. Two of CSKA fans were detained by police before the game and 15 more after the match.
UEFA also accused CSKA fans of unfolding a banner during the match that allegedly contained a race-hate instigation statement.
UEFA’s October 3 set of penalties followed previous sanctions against CSKA as the club was earlier ordered by UEFA to play its Champions League’s Group E match against Bayern Munich FC in late September in empty arena in Moscow. UEFA’s order was issued following CSKA’s fans poor behavior last December during the match against Viktoria Plzen FC.