- Jul 16, 2005
It’s a terrible look. I am guessing that the basis would be “how was what happened at the Mestalla worse than what happened at the Metropolitano earlier this season?” It’s a poor question but they would have a point. The reality is RFEF should have punished the Frente and Atleti back then and didn’t, especially given the history of that group of ultras. It is an attempt by an owner unpopular with the fans to get the ultras on his side in an “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” sort of way.From the outside looking in, Valencia's appeal feels like an awful move. It's difficult to get any message other than "We defend our fans' right to be racist!" out of it.
I will agree and disagree with @rodderick on the punishment. The 45k is a wrist slap and thoroughly meaningless, but the five game closure of the stands is a lot more than I was expecting. It both ensures that people who rely on games get paid and punishes people in a meaningful way. There will be ultras who haven’t missed a game in decades not in attendance, and at least some of them will get the point. I’ve been to Mestalla a few times, and the various ultras- groups who run across the political spectrum- are absolutely in charge of things like this. As @SocrManiac mentioned, a complete closure of the stadium would have an unfair impact on employees and I would add that a point deduction that leads to relegation (or lack of Europe or whatever) would have the same cumulative impact on club employees and the surrounding community that relies on game day crowds. This seems like a happy medium, and if it happens again, the the punishment for the ultras will likely increase, perhaps to a year.