Valencia fined for bottles thrown at Barcelona players
ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 27, 2016 11:25 AM
FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a penalty during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Valencia and FC Barcelona at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia, Spain, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)MADRID (AP) — The Spanish soccer federation on Wednesday fined Valencia 1,500 euros ($1,600) after water bottles were thrown at Barcelona players celebrating a goal in a Spanish league game last weekend.
The federation also warned Valencia that it may close its Mestalla Stadium if similar incidents happen again.
In its ruling, the federation's competition committee condemned the attitude of the Barcelona players who turned to the stands to celebrate after Lionel Messi's late winner on Saturday, but said "nothing justifies a violent reaction by fans."
It also criticized the "exaggerated reaction" of some Barcelona players after a bottle hit Neymar and Luis Suarez, and said that their actions exposed them to ridicule. The federation also praised Valencia for quickly identifying the fan who threw the bottle.
Barcelona reacted quickly to the criticism to its players, saying that the accusations made by the committee were "condemnable and abusive."
"The committee turns the victims into the guilty parties," Barcelona said in a statement. "Barcelona players reacted by expressing their indignation for what they had to go through."
The Catalan club said the committee should have limited its analysis to the facts instead of making "unfair" assumptions that are not within its scope.
It said that from now on it expects the committee to analyze the team celebrations after every goal is scored in La Liga.