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Barcelona fined for racist behaviour by fans during PSG game

Yesterday saw Barcelona fined due to racist actions by some of their supporters.

Barça’s Champions League quarter-final clash with Paris Saint-Germain was a thrilling tie on the pitch.  In the first leg, the Catalan side claimed a huge victory, winning 3-2 in France. But PSG were able to overturn the deficit in the second leg, and ran out 6-4 winners on aggregate.

As is to be expected for such an important and lively tie, both legs were played in feisty atmospheres. It made for a great watch.

However, sometimes things can turn ugly, and it appears that they did during the first leg, as yesterday saw Barcelona fined due to racist actions by some of their supporters.

barcelona fans
Barcelona fans at the Parc des Princes during the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Paris Saint-Germain. Photo by Icon Sport

What did fans do during the PSG game?

Some Barcelona fans were spotted making Nazi salutes and other racist gestures during the game. It is not clear from UEFA’s statement if these were directed at anyone in particular, but Ousmane Dembele was booed and whistled for much of the game due to his perceived over-exuberant goal celebration against his old club.

The club was also charged with acts of damage and the lighting of fireworks while at the Parc des Princes.

How much were Barcelona fined?

Barcelona have been €32,000 (£27,400) in total – €25,000 for the racist behaviour, €5,000 for the acts of damage, and €2,000 for the use of fireworks.

They must also contact PSG within 30 days to settle the cost of the damage caused to seats and other property at the stadium. This could cost anything up to another €7,000.

UEFA have also given Barcelona a suspended ban on selling tickets for their next European away game, which is likely to be in next season’s Champions League group stage.

La Liga’s racism problem

La Liga has struggled over the last couple of years in particular with a racism problem in stadiums. In October last year, Barcelona conducted an investigation into alleged racist abuse directed towards Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior during El Clásico.

But Barcelona fans are from the only ones who have targeted Vinicius. The Brazilian has been abused countless times by opposition fans – racist effigies have been hung from bridges, children have filmed making racist gestures, and even Spanish pundits have criticised a goal celebration in which Vinicius danced next to the corner flag.

The winger responded by saying that those pundits did not want to see “the happiness of a black Brazilian in Europe”, and later said in May 2023 that “La Liga belongs to racists.”

With a potentially title-defining El Clásico to be played this Sunday night, we can only hope the drama remains on the pitch.


Jamie Barton

A freelance football writer and podcaster, Jamie has appeared on/in the BBC World Service, PA Media, Charlton Athletic FC and Empire of the Kop, among others. He's attended matches all around the world, from Tranmere to Tokyo, and once had his bus home from the 2022 Champions League final in Paris delayed by 28 hours.

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