Lyon appeal after UEFA upholds Champions League stadium ban

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Lyon’s French defender Léo Dubois (L) and Lyon’s French midfielder Lucas Tousart gesture after the UEFA Champions League group F football match between Manchester City and Lyon at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on September 19, 2018. Paul ELLIS / AFP

Lyon reacted to a UEFA ruling on Friday that they must play their next Champions League match behind closed doors by saying they would appeal again, this time to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The punishment was originally handed down in August following scenes of mob violence ahead of a Europa League home game against CSKA Moscow in March.

Lyon appealed to UEFA in August, but on Friday the governing body of European football announced that they had upheld the punishment, which also includes a second match behind closed doors if there is further trouble and a 100,000 euro ($117,000) fine.

Lyon said it would carry on the fight through CAS.

“The club regrets that UEFA did not take into account that the events occurred outside the stadium and that in France clubs are not allowed to intervene in public spaces which are under the responsibility of the civil authorities,” the club said in a statement.

Lyon lead Champions League Group F after opening their campaign with a surprise victory at Manchester City on Wednesday. Next, they face Shakhtar Donetsk at Parc OL stadium on October 2.

The punishment stems from a Europa League game in March. Before the game, a group of 100 hooded black-clad fans pelted police. Lyon then lost the match and were eliminated from the competition. One man was later sentenced to 18 months in jail and others receive suspended sentences.

The club said in their statement “that following the match against CSKA Moscow, nine individuals involved in the incidents were sentenced thanks to the sophisticated surveillance system” at the stadium.

The club added that they were cooperating with police in Manchester after a Lyon fan was caught on film giving a Nazi salute at the Etihad Stadium.

“OL has decided to acknowledge events at the Etihad Stadium to ban for life the individual concerned and to file a criminal complaint against him,” concluded their statement.