Uefa’s disciplinary panel is set to launch an investigation into Wednesday night’s chaotic tunnel bust-up between Manchester City and Atlético Madrid. It comes as new footage emerged of the incident of players confronting each other as they left the pitch.
Tempers flared in the last few minutes of the match at the Wanda Metropolitano as the Atlético players lost their heads, frustrated at what they perceived as City’s time wasting and gamesmanship.
Footage from inside the tunnel – broadcast on TV on Wednesday night – appeared to show Atlético’s defender Sime Vrsaljko hurling an object at City players and spitting at City staff. That unfolded after Stefan Savic and Jack Grealish confronted each other as police rushed in to intervene.
Fresh footage taken by fans as the players entered the tunnel also seems to show Kyle Walker pushing David Lora, the Atlético physio, before Vrsaljko confronts Walker and Liam Delap. City’s 18-year-old midfielder Roméo Lavia then says something to Vrsaljko.
Uefa Control, Ethics, and Disciplinary Body will also examine what happened after Atlético’s defender Felipe committed the foul on Phil Foden for which he was sent off as City clung on for a goalless draw to reach the Champions League semi-finals with a 1-0 aggregate victory.
After the incident Savic appeared to pull at Grealish’s hair – after being sworn at by the England international – and direct a headbutt at Raheem Sterling.
Uefa is awaiting the referee’s report into the match but sources say that it is examining footage and is set to launch an investigation into the incident in the next 48 hours.
It follows an investigation into similar scenes which marred the first leg of Bodø/Glimt’s Uefa Conference League quarter-final against Roma last Thursday.
This week Uefa provisionally suspended Bodø/Glimt’s head coach, Kjetil Knutsen, and the Roma goalkeeping coach Nuno Santos and both will miss Thursday night’s return leg.
Both men are under investigation for “conduct (which) is insulting or otherwise violates the basic rules of decent conduct” and face suspensions of up to five Uefa competition matches if found guilty.
After Thursday’s match Koke Resurrección, Atlético’s captain, accused City of “falling on the floor and wasting time” during the second half. “Lots of the time we get criticised for this situation, and now let’s see what people think of this,” he said. “You’ve seen it, you can express an opinion.”
The City midfielder Rodri countered: “Everything is licit in football. We tried to play. It’s true that in the end, because of the quality of your opponent, we were boxed in and when there are five or 10 minutes left you play with that weapon [time wasting]. I am not in favour of doing it the rest of the time, but in the end sometimes it happens.”
He added: “When that [the melee] happened, I tried to stay out of it; it’s my teammates and my ex-teammates and it is not at all pleasant for me.”