Torres hopes UEFA rethink Atletico banning

October 14, 2008
By Soccernet staff

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres has spoken of his disappointment after hearing his much-anticipated return to Atletico Madrid's Vicente Calderon could be scuppered.

GettyImagesTorres: Disappointed.

UEFA's decision to make the Spanish club stage their home Champions League tie 300km away from the stadium after crowd trouble and racism during a group game with Marseille has angered many, including Liverpool fans who have already booked flights and hotels in the Spanish capital.

Torres through the ranks at Atletico and quickly become a fan favourite before moving to Anfield in a big-money move a year ago. "After so much time waiting, it is the worst and most unexpected news that I could have heard this morning," the 24-year-old told Marca.

"I'm eager to go back. I don't know if it is definitive, I hope that a solution can be found. It is a shame that these incidents have forced the stadium to be closed, but if this is what happens then we have to accept it."

And British sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe called on UEFA to use the money from Atletico's record fine to help Liverpool fans.

Sutcliffe said: "It's great to see UEFA taking a tough stance on racism as this is the only way we are going to kick this problem out of the game.

"But the decision to move the match at this late stage will play havoc with Liverpool fans' travel plans and put them out of pocket.

"These decisions need to be made more quickly to avoid this. I would like to see UEFA use the 150,000 euro fine paid by Atletico to help the Liverpool supporters get to the match."