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Benitez questions ban timing
15 Oct 2008 - 15:24:27
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has joined chief executive Rick Parry in hitting out at the timing of UEFA's decision to hand next week's Champions League opponents Atletico Madrid a stadium ban.
Parry has already written to UEFA to reveal his "extreme concern" at the punishment which could result in Liverpool fans having to travel to a neutral venue 300 kilometres away from Madrid next Wednesday.
And now Benitez has echoed those sentiments and called for common sense to prevail at this late stage.
Meanwhile, Atletico remain confident the game will go ahead as planned at their Vicente Calderon home after appealing the two-game ban handed down following crowd trouble during their recent Champions League clash with Marseille.
"We know about the loyalty of our fans and we know about the incredible lengths they go to to support us," Benitez told the club's official website.
"They have an incredible passion for the club which means they follow us all over Europe at great expense to themselves and we always appreciate that.
"That is why we are so worried by this ruling. We can understand why UEFA feel they have to act but in this case maybe this time it has come too late.
"To change the venue of the game at such a late stage would cause massive problems to our fans and that is not fair."