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Page last updated at 20:43 GMT, Friday, 31 October 2008

Uefa reduces Euro ban on Atletico

Marseille fans clash with police before the match against Atletico
Marseille fans clash with police before the match against Atletico on 1 October

Atletico Madrid's two-match home stadium ban for European games has been reduced to one match played behind closed doors following an appeal.

The Spanish side were punished by Uefa after crowd problems marred their Champions League match with Marseille in Madrid on 1 October.

They were originally ordered to play their next two European fixtures at least 300km outside Madrid.

Atletico will now play PSV Eindhoven on 26 November without any spectators.

A Uefa statement read: "After careful consideration of all the evidence presented, and after hearing from the parties and several witnesses, the appeals body has reduced the initial three-match stadium closure with one match deferred to a two-match behind closed doors sentence, with one match deferred for two years."

An initial fine of 150,000 euros stands, as does the ban on Atletico coach Javier Aguirre, which means he is banned from "carrying out his function" for the games at Liverpool on Tuesday and the visit of PSV three weeks later.

The club have denied charges of racism and will take their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

"Atletico will fight for their innocence until the very end," director Clemente Villaverde told the club's website.

"There has been a reduction (in the punishment) but we don't agree with the manner in which the process has been conducted.

"We will fight on to the next stage, CAS. They haven't given us the detailed legal basis for their decision yet.

"But there seems to be a change of emphasis with the committee now giving more importance to the racist chants."

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see also
England veto Madrid for Spain tie
14 Oct 08 |  Internationals
Ferdinand condemns Fifa on racism
08 Oct 08 |  Internationals
Croatia fined over Heskey abuse
25 Sep 08 |  Internationals
Spain must pay heavy price
18 Nov 04 |  Internationals
Reaction from Spanish press
18 Nov 04 |  Internationals
Is Spanish football racist?
21 Dec 04 |  Football
Fifa probes Spanish racist chants
18 Nov 04 |  Internationals
Ferdinand almost quit Spain game
19 Nov 04 |  Internationals
Spanish fine disappoints Wenger
23 Dec 04 |  Arsenal
Taylor wanted England to walk off
18 Nov 04 |  Internationals
Spain fined for racist chanting
21 Dec 04 |  Internationals

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