6 Reasons Manchester City Fans Boo UEFA Champions League Anthem

6 Reasons Manchester City Fans Boo UEFA Champions League Anthem

Elijah Odetokun
March 7, 2024 at 11:34 AM
In this article:
Mario Balotelli logo
M. Balotelli
Adana Demirspor logoFItaly logo
y.toure
FK MAS Taborsko logo--
Manchester City logo
Manchester City
England
27
FC Porto logo
FC Porto
Portugal
41
Sporting CP logo
SCP
Portugal
40
CSKA Moscow logo
CSKA Moscow
Russia
11
Dynamo Kyiv logo
Dynamo Kyiv
Ukraine
29
UEFA Champions League logo
UEFA UCL
Europe
  • Man City fans boo the Champions League anthem each time their team plays
  • This expresses the strained relationship between the English club and UEFA
  • The origin of their actions dates back to the 2011/12 season against FC Porto

Manchester City fans are notorious for booing the UEFA Champions League anthem each time their team plays, including during last season's final, which they won.

Pep Guardiola appealed to the fans ahead of the game against Inter Milan at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, but his plea was brushed aside before kickoff.

Manchester City, Copenhagen, UEFA Champions League, Etihad Stadium.
A Manchester City fan displaying the club's scarf prior to the 3-1 win over Copenhagen at the Etihad Stadium. Photo by Ryan Crockett.
Source: Getty Images

Sports Brief looks at six events that led to the action of the Manchester club fans.

Six reasons City fans boo UCL anthem

1. Racism against Balotelli and Toure

Per The Athletic, this was one of the first times the fans demonstrated against the anthem. Porto fans racially abused Yaya Toure and Mario Balotelli in the 2011/12 season. UEFA fined the club €20,000, but the English fans were annoyed that the punishment did not match the offence.

2. Fine for late arrival in Lisbon

In the next round of the competition in the same season, City faced another Portuguese club, Sporting Lisbon. Their players turned up 30 seconds late for the second half, and the European governing body handed the club a €30,000 fine, more than Porto, who were fined for racially abusing two players. This further heightened the anger of their fans.

3. Supporters ban in Moscow

City played CSKA Moscow in 2014 in the UCL. The Russian club were under a stadium ban, and UEFA decided late that the English fans would not be allowed in, causing losses in flights and accommodation bookings. Some Russian fans were in the stadium, and no action was taken.

4. €49m fine for FFP breach in 2014

The Citizens were hit with a €49 million fine for breaching financial fair play rules in 2014. They also had a squad limitation for the following season and a transfer cap. They had a failed appeal with UEFA.

5. Stadium closure in Kyiv

Per Goal, when the Sky Blues played Dynamo Kyiv in the Round of 16 in 2016, the club were serving a stadium closure, and from the 2014 experience, City fans opted against travelling, but UEFA announced they would be permitted in the stadium, leaving it too late to book travel and accommodation.

6. FFP investigation in 2019

Per The Guardian, the treble winners were fined £9mil by UEFA, despite not being guilty, for obstructing a second investigation into the alleged FFP breach. The fine was initially £27mil and a two-year European ban which the Court of Arbitration in Sports quashed.

City set European record after Copenhagen win

Sports Brief reported on City setting a European record after beating Copenhagen 3-1 in the second leg of the 2023/24 UCL round of 16, thanks to a dominant first-half performance.

Pep Guardiola's men also beat the Danish club by the same scoreline in the first leg. Copenhagen eliminated their city rivals, United, in the group stage.

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Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.