UEFA has appealed against the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body's verdict on PSV Eindhoven.
UEFA has lodged an appeal against last week's decision by the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Committee to fine Dutch club PSV Eindhoven €20,500 for the improper conduct of their fans – including racist abuse and throwing of missiles at Arsenal FC striker Thierry Henry – at the UEFA Champions League match between the two teams in Eindhoven on 25 September.
Power to appeal
Under Article 50 of the UEFA disciplinary regulations, UEFA has the power to appeal and call for a review of a decision taken by the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body, an independent organ, if it is felt that the case merits further examination with additional evidence being made available.
On Friday, a UEFA statement issued after the hearing had said the official reports did not mention the incidents at the PSV-Arsenal game. "The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body pointed out that Arsenal FC did not complain, nor did they submit a statement or any evidence of the alleged racist behaviour of the Dutch supporters," Friday's statement added.
"The Body also took into account the video evidence clearly showing that only a very small minority of individuals insulted the Arsenal FC player when reaching a decision."
Entitled to intervene
Mr Aigner said on Tuesday: "The Control and Disciplinary Body has to be allowed to look at each case referred to it and make a decision on the available evidence. However, if there is reason to believe that the verdict is not wholly appropriate, or that further evidence needs examination, then I can intervene."
"In this instance," added the UEFA CEO, "I will now appoint a disciplinary inspector to prepare for the appeal hearing and we would ask that all the parties concerned provide written evidence – statements to the media are not enough. We need hard evidence to move forward, not just public declarations.”
Commitment from everyone
Mr Aigner concluded: "Whatever the outcome of the appeal process in this particular case, UEFA is determined to do all that we can to combat racism in European football. To succeed, a partnership is needed with commitment from everyone involved in the game on our continent. There are no simple solutions, but we all have a responsibility to act and to set the ground rules for the future."
In other cases heard last week, Yugoslavia's FK Sartid have appealed against a €17,000 fine handed down by the Control and Disciplinary Body for the racist conduct of their spectators at the UEFA Cup match against Ipswich Town FC on 3 October.
Another Yugoslavian club, NK Partizan, have appealed against the four-match suspension of their manager Nenad Bjekovic for improper conduct towards the referee, and a two-match ban on player Dejan Zivkovic for his dismissal for a particularly rough tackle, both during the UEFA Cup game against Sporting Clube de Portugal on 3 October.
Hertha request hearing
German club Hertha BSC Berlin have also lodged an appeal against the Control and Disciplinary Body’s decision to ban player Andreas Neuendorf for four matches for head-butting an opponent in the UEFA Cup match against Aberdeen FC on 1 October.