Bayern Munich has distanced themselves from the fans who displayed a homophobic banner during the Champions League last-16 second leg game against Arsenal.
UEFA has punished Bayern for their fans’ behaviour during the 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena on March 11 by ordering a partial stadium closure for the home leg of the Champions League quarterfinal against Manchester United.
The banner, which featured the words “Gay Gunners” alongside a depiction of the cannon from Arsenal’s crest and a picture poking fun at Mesut Ozil.
The European champions have also been fined 10,000 euros for the incident and will not be able to sell any tickets for block 124, where the banner was displayed.
“We deeply regret the incident during the Arsenal game and strongly distance ourselves from this discriminating banner. Bayern Munich will never accept it,” CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was quoted as saying in a press release on Monday.
“We sadly have to accept the UEFA punishment. We will determine those responsible and after that juristically check claims for compensation against those responsible.”
Meanwhile, Munich’s gay fan club Queerpass Bayern has criticised UEFA’s decision to sanction the club as “inappropriate.”
“Queerpass Bayern thinks the verdict is totally inappropriate and too severe,” spokesperson Mario Weisse told ESPN FC. “Since it was a first offence other sanctions would have been possible. Of course, it was about sending a message, but it is not equivalent to violent offences or similar misdemeanours."
Weisse added that “sustainable campaigns” would be more effective than “collective punishment” and called for the Bayern fine to be donated to gay and lesbian rights groups by UEFA.