José León lambasts despite Betis' pitiful punishment
So, Real Betis BalompiÃÂ© will not play the final 19 minutes of their match against Athletic Bilbao after a bottle thrown from the stands hit visitorsÃ¢ÂÂ goalkeeper Armando and led to the game being abandoned with the score at 2-1 to Athletic. It has been decided that instead the game will be awarded to Athletic, the 2-1 scoreline being allowed to stand. Betis will also get a record fine and have their ground closed for two matches, forcing them to play in exile as they fight to stave off relegation.
Is this because: a) Armando was left needing six stitches and will be out of action for at least 10 days?b) a millimetre higher and he could have been blinded? c) re-playing the final 20 minutes would have forced Athletic, the victim, to travel all the way down to Seville again, clocking up well over 1,000km?d) the likelihood is that AthleticÃ¢ÂÂs innocent goalkeeper would not have been able to play in the remaining minutes of the match - thus unfairly forcing Athletic to use their (pretty rubbish) reserve keeper because of an attack from a Betis fan? e) according to the leagueÃ¢ÂÂs ever-so-slightly murky rules, it appears Armando might not have been permitted to play even if they had waited for him to be fit again, because he had been withdrawn from the pitch in the original match? f) while Spanish league games have tended to replay the remaining minutes in cases like this, UEFA have set a new precedent for European football with their handling of the Sweden-Denmark game? (which was handed to Sweden after a fan attacked a player). g) throwing things is an epidemic in Spain and they need to send out a clear message of zero tolerance?h) two games away from home is the standard punishment? (Indeed, only the fact that some of BetisÃ¢ÂÂ fans intervened to stop the person who threw the bottle meant it wasnÃ¢ÂÂt more). i) some other Betis fans, furious at the decision to postpone the game, ended up having a rumble with the police?j) there were in fact other things thrown during the match - only these ones didnÃ¢ÂÂt hit their target?k) the committee were annoyed that Betis jumped up and down and said that the man who threw the bottle was not even a member at the Ruiz de Lopera, however much heÃ¢ÂÂd painted his house Betis green-and-white and goes to every match? (Ã¢ÂÂcos that makes it ok.) l) last season a Betis fan threw a bottle of water at then-Sevilla coach Juande Ramos, leaving him unconscious? m) theyÃ¢ÂÂre trying to make a point to a club who, when that Betis fan hit Juande Ramos with a bottle (on the same night that another fan hit Sevilla president JosÃÂ© MarÃÂa del Nido with a coin and another struck Daniel Alves with a missile), claimed the incident Ã¢ÂÂwas not seriousÃ¢ÂÂ and was Ã¢ÂÂa one-offÃ¢ÂÂ? n) not so very long ago, Betis fans launched - and La Liga Loca means launched a flare across the stadium into the away fans opposite? o) Betis fans once stole Santi CaÃÂ±izaresÃ¢ÂÂ water bottle and filled it with their own special, bright yellow, suspiciously warm isotonic drink?p) this is the fourth time Betis have been involved in an incident like this in last than 10 years?q) nine of the 19 official complaints relating to missile throwing from fans this season have been about Betis?Or because: r) of a combination of the above. No. ItÃ¢ÂÂs nothing to do with all that, according to president JosÃÂ© LeÃÂ³n. Oh no! No, no, no, no! Betis have in fact been given a huge Ã¢ÂÂ¬9,000 fine, forced to play two whole games at the much bigger, more lucrative La Cartuja stadium all of 3km away, and lost a match they were already losing because:q) thereÃ¢ÂÂs an evil conspiracy against them, led by a Federation president who used to play for Athletic, doesnÃ¢ÂÂt much like BetisÃ¢ÂÂ delegate and is desperate to see them relegated. Of course! Now why didnÃ¢ÂÂt we think of that?