The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) have fined Valencia €1,500 after Barcelona forward Neymar was struck by a bottle thrown from the stands during Saturday’s LaLiga match at the Mestalla.
Lionel Messi scored a last-gasp penalty to secure a dramatic 3-2 win for Luis Enrique’s side, but Neymar was hit by an object thrown by a spectator that then ricocheted onto Luis Suarez during the subsequent celebrations.
The RFEF ruled that Valencia must pay a fine and warned it could face “closure of its facilities in the event of… similar incidents that have led to this punishment”.
It was noted Valencia have “adopted a series of preventive measures on safety and, thanks to research conducted, [the club has] been [able] to identify [the] thrower of the bottles, namely the one that hit one of the players of the visiting team” and that this was considered in mitigation of their punishment.
Los Che have 10 working days to appeal their punishment, while Barcelona’s players did not escape criticism in the federation’s report for “reproachable behaviour”.
The celebrations following Messi’s penalty in front of the Curva Nord were labelled as “provocation” by Valencia and the RFEF said “certain gestures and expressions to the public during the celebration of the goal” were not “precisely an example of sportsmanship”.
However, the federation’s statement added: “The aforementioned behaviour by some players from F.C. Barcelona discredits and ridicules [themselves]. But we insist that nothing, absolutely nothing, justifies a violent reaction by the public.”
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