UEFA punishes Real Madrid for fans' racism
View of the Santiago Bernabeu stadium during the celebrations of the Champions League title, in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, May 25, 2014, (AP / Gabriel Pecot)
The Associated Press
Published Friday, May 30, 2014 8:01AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 30, 2014 10:21AM EDT
NYON, Switzerland -- Champions League winner Real Madrid was punished by UEFA on Friday for 'racist incidents' by its fans during a semifinal match against Bayern Munich after some supporters displayed a Nazi banner.
Two sections of the Santiago Bernabeu stadium -- sectors 120 and 122 -- will be closed for the club's first home match in the Champions League group stage next season.
"Real Madrid are obliged to display a banner with the wording 'No to Racism' in those sectors," UEFA said.
Fans displayed a banner with a Nazi symbol during Real Madrid's 1-0 win over Bayern on April 23. Madrid won the second leg 4-0 in Munich.
Madrid beat city rival Atletico Madrid 4-1 after extra time to win its 10th European title last Saturday.
It marks the latest act of racial abuse and discrimination in Spain in recent months, including two cases involving Atletico.
Without naming Spain, UEFA reminded its member federations this month to take a tougher line on racist incidents.
In March, Atletico was fined 10,000 euros ($13,600) by UEFA for incidents at a Youth League match against Manchester City. UEFA also ordered Atletico's stadium to be partially closed for its next home match in that competition.
Atletico fans were also implicated in making monkey noises at Levante midfielder Papakouly Diop during a league match this month.
Diop answered the taunts by doing a dance, which enraged the travelling Atletico fans at Ciutat de Valencia stadium after a 2-0 loss.
"I started to do the dance to take importance away (from the jeers)," Diop, who is from Senegal, said then. "That they call black players monkeys has to end."
In the highest profile case, Barcelona defender Dani Alves responded to a Villarreal fan who threw a banana at him last month by eating the piece of fruit before continuing to play.
The Spanish league fined Villarreal 12,000 euros ($16,000).
Villarreal ordered a stadium life ban for the fan who threw the banana, and said it will close a section when it plays the home leg of a Europa League playoff in August.