[We might be paraphrasing a bit, but the sentiment is still valid.]
In the most unsurprising decision ever, UEFA dismissed Lyon’s latest appeal for a reduction in their punishment, which was given for terrible fan behavior during last season’s home match against CSKA Moscow.
Just guess what Lyon’s response was.
That’s right. They’re going to appeal the refusal of their appeal. Is there anything more quintessentially OL than that?
Lyon’s punishment is as follows:
- Play their next two UEFA competition matches as host club behind closed doors (the second match as host behind closed doors is deferred for a probationary period of two years)
- Pay a fine of €100,000
Lyon had hoped that UEFA would dismiss the closed match or defer it so that they could play it against Hoffenheim, but UEFA has had enough of Lyon’s antics and just want the matter closed.
Like Aulas was going to let that happen. As we predicted, Lyon are now appealing the dismissal and taking this to CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport). CAS has already reduced an earlier punishment from UEFA, so Aulas is hoping that there is still goodwill left.
Lyon will be arguing that they were limited in the actions they could take against fans outside the stadium, and despite that, they still banned several fans.
One does have to wonder if UEFA’s decision was in any way impacted by another troublesome fan incident for Lyon, in which an away fan was caught giving the Nazi salute during this past Wednesday’s match against Manchester City.
The club reacted within minutes of being alerted of the footage and vowed to not only ban the fan for life but also refer him to British and French police. Lyon’s quick action has been universally praised, though I suspect it’s also due there being a few Nazi salutes thrown around during the CSKA match, which is what raised UEFA’s ire in the first place.
While Lyon overall has a wonderful fan base, there is a small portion that is rowdier than most, and it is they who are causing OL the most headaches.
Lyon were lucky to get their original two year probation for their actions at Besiktas reduced to 15 months, which is the only thing that saved OL from being suspended from European competition after CSKA (if the original 2 year probation had stood, then the CSKA mess would have violated that probation). UEFA is now putting Lyon on another two year probation, but given the increasing number of fan incidents, Aulas must no doubt be sweating over what will happen if – when – Lyon breaks it.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, the now banned supporter in question:
And if you need a refresher on the Lyon/UEFA saga, here are all the previous posts in chronological order:
- Lyon await UEFA sanctions, 7/18/18
- UEFA keep trying to punish Lyon, who keep appealing, 8/25/18
- Lyon and UEFA are back at it again, 9/17/18