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Features

Real Betis’ stadium ban reduced

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has reduced the punishment handed out to Real Betis after the LaLiga club’s Copa del Rey match against Sevilla last month was interrupted by a fan throwing a missile at an opposition player.

The RFEF had ordered Betis to play two home games away from the Estadio Benito Villamarín after Sevilla midfielder Joan Jordan was hit on the head by a pole-shaped object thrown from the home stands during the derby match.

Following an appeal, the RFEF has ruled that Betis can play at the Villamarín, but the section from which the missile was thrown must remain closed for two matches. Betis still feels this punishment is disproportionate and has vowed to appeal the decision and request the precautionary suspension of the sanction.

The club said in a statement: “Real Betis Balompié wants to once again condemn violence in the field of sport. The club reiterates that it has collaborated from the outset with the national police in identifying the perpetrator and that it complied with the security standards required for this type of event.

“Therefore, Real Betis considers that the sanction is disproportionate and will continue to defend its interests and those of its fans in subsequent instances.”

The incident during last month’s match between Betis and Sevilla led to the remainder of the fixture being played behind closed doors the following day. Betis players claimed that Jordan exaggerated the incident but Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui denied this.

Jordan was hospitalised by the incident, with Sevilla saying its player had suffered a “traumatic brain injury”. Jordan was not able to play in the restarted match, which Betis ended up winning 2-1.

Betis is due to host Villarreal on Sunday and RCD Mallorca on February 20. It will play away at Real Sociedad in the quarter-final of the Copa del Rey on Thursday.

Betis has also announced an initiative for fans to donate their hair in recognition of International Cancer Day in return for two free tickets for Sunday’s match against Villarreal.

The club is inviting fans that have hair longer than 35cm to have it chopped off and donated to make wigs for women that are undergoing cancer treatment. Head to our sister site TheTicketingBusiness.com for the full story.

Image: Anual/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size