European football's governing body UEFA has ruled CSKA Moscow did not breach an order to play this season's Champions League matches behind closed doors after hundreds of spectators were allowed into its stadium to watch the game against Manchester City.
City's players and staff were disgruntled that some 360 people had been let into the Khimki Arena on Tuesday night to attend its Champion's League clash against CSKA Moscow, despite an order handed down in light of some CSKA fans' racist behavior that the match be played behind closed doors.
CSKA denied that the spectators — some of whom demonstratively supported the home team and waved Russian flags — were associated with the club, saying that the individuals were in fact partners and sponsors of UEFA.
"Only people who were allowed to enter the stadium — clubs delegations, media, security staff, UEFA and guests of sponsorship partners — attended the match, with no record of inappropriate behavior," UEFA's statement read, confirming CSKA's declaration.
UEFA also added that it would be reviewing its "behind-closed-doors" policy and that it would consider inviting women and children to attend such matches for free instead of closing the stadium entirely.
Earlier this month, UEFA reprimanded CSKA for racist incidents involving its supporters, ruling that no fans be allowed into the club's Champions League matches. The association also handed CSKA a 200,000 euro ($250,000) fine and banned it from selling tickets to its fans for its away games at Manchester City and Bayern Munich.