Parry expects UEFA u-turn

Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry is hopeful next week’s Champions League clash against Atletico Madrid will be played at the Spanish club’s home ground.

Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry is hopeful next week’s Champions League clash against Atletico Madrid will be played at the Spanish club’s home ground.

Atletico were this week ordered by European governing body UEFA to play their next two matches in the competition at a neutral venue at least 200 miles away after trouble during their match against Marseille on October 1.

The decision brought protest from Liverpool over the short notice of the switch, as many fans have already made travel arrangements.

Atletico are set to appeal against the judgement – they were also fined €150,000 – but whether or not the verdict is overturned, Parry hopes the game can still be played in Madrid.

Parry told the club’s official website, www.liverpoolfc.tv: “Working closely with the FA, we’ve made strong representation at the highest level pointing out the effects a switch will have on our travelling fans.

“We’ve also raised serious concerns on the safety and security aspects of such a late change of venue. We will continue to work hard, but are hopeful UEFA will take on board these issues when deciding where the game will be played.”

The punishment was issued after monkey chants were aimed at Marseille players and the French side’s bus was also attacked following the match at the Vicente Calderon.

There were also outbreaks of violence as police clashed with visiting supporters.

Atletico have reacted angrily to UEFA’s verdict and will have the support of the Spanish government in their appeal.

Earlier this year, Bolton lodged an official complaint to UEFA after “overzealous and disproportionate” action by police against supporters during a UEFA Cup tie at the same stadium.

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