Madrid - Atletico Madrid fans are preparing a curious protest against UEFA: they were planning to turn their backs on the pitch Wednesday at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid when the Champions League anthem is heard prior to the game against Liverpool.
The Spanish club's fans are outraged at the recent decision by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to punish Atletico Madrid harshly for serious incidents before and during the October 1 match against Olympique Marseille.
UEFA suspended the stadium for two games, although they reversed their initial decision to have the game against Liverpool played at least 300 kilometres from Madrid. The suspension is now set to go into force for Atletico Madrid's next Champions League games.
Fans were using the internet to promote the protest, although it remained to be seen whether the proposal was followed by many of the thousands that are expected to fill the stadium.
UEFA, in turn, is bound to watch Atletico Madrid fans closely, in the light of their earlier behaviour.
The governing body of European football blamed Atletico for having inadequate security in place both inside and outside their stadium, and for the crowd making racist chants and noises at Marseille's black players.
UEFA also criticized the Spanish police for using excessive force when charging into the unruly sector of the Marseille fans. (dpa)