• Champions League

UEFA fine Basel over Greenpeace banner incident

ESPN staff
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The match between FC Basel and Schalke was delayed by four minutes when protesters unveiled the banner © Getty Images
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UEFA has fined FC Basel €30,000 for "insufficient organisation" following the Greenpeace protests during the Swiss team's Champions League clash against FC Schalke 04 earlier in October.

"Following a meeting of the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Commitee, FC Basel 1893 have been fined €30,000 for insufficient organisation following incidents at their UEFA Champions League matchday two fixture at home against FC Schalke 04 on 1 October," UEFA announced on their disciplinary website on Thursday.

In a first reaction to the fine, Basel president Bernhard Heussler left an appeal open.

"We acknowledge the €30,000 fine. It is too early for a further evaluation since we don't have the grounds for the judgment yet," Heussler said. The club also left it open whether they will take legal action against third parties.

The tie between Basel and Schalke was delayed for four minutes after kick off when Greenpeace representatives abseiled from the roof of St. Jakob's Park. In front of UEFA president Michel Platini, who was at the game, they unfurled a giant banner criticising Gazprom, the natural gas company, sponsor of both Champions League and Schalke's shirts.

The banner read: "Gazprom: Don't Foul the Arctic". A statement explaining the protest said that "the defenders of the Arctic showed the red card to the Russian sponsor of the Champions League and German club, and to their oil-drilling and dirty tricks in the Artic."

In the aftermath of the incident, FC Schalke 04 general manager Horst Heldt was quoted as saying that "it is important there are organisations that are committed to things that concern all people" by Bild. Heldt added: "I can identify with it; these are topics that are important to everyone."

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