Real Betis left fuming with UEFA after being handed Celtic Park blow

By David Walton

November 17, 2021

Real Betis chairman Angel Haro has been left fuming with the UEFA decision to hand star-man Nabil Fekir a 3-match ban.

The French star will miss the crucial clash against Celtic at Parkhead on matchday 6. Celtic will travel to Bayer Leverkusen whilst Betis host Ferencvaros next week before their December 9th meeting in Glasgow.

Fekir was sent off on matchday 4 against Leverkusen after a silly clash with Bayer’s Kerem Demirby in which the Betis man threw his arms into his opponent’s face.

Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

The La Liga side have decided not to appeal the decision, but it hasn’t left chairman Haro any less furious with the verdict.

As quoted by Sevilla ABC, Haro said: “He reacted and he didn’t have to react like that, but he receives many fouls.

“If he was playing for another team in La Liga he would have different treatment [from UEFA]. He reacted badly but you have to put yourself in the player’s shoes when they are fouling you throughout the game. 

“Betis will not appeal. We stay like this because they have told us that it is difficult to lower that penalty”

Nabil Fekir to miss Celtic Park clash; UEFA verdict no surprise

We can argue until we’re blue in the face about whether a 3-match ban is excessive when it comes to Fekir’s actions. But the truth is it was overly-aggressive and you simply can’t do that to opposition players.

Whether the likes of a Sergio Ramos or Sergio Busquets would’ve been given a 3-game ban? You wouldn’t be so certain. But unfortunately, it’s all hypothetical. Fekir has been given the appropriate level of punishment.

Betis are spot-on not to appeal either. They simply cannot have a defence. It was clumsy and reckless from a player who should’ve known better. We’re talking about an experienced 28-year-old France international here, not an amateurish hothead.

Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Perhaps it’s more pertinent to Celtic that he’ll miss Betis’ game against Ferencvaros first and foremost. After all, he could very easily have been the difference-maker, and it’s likely that the Hoops will need a slip-up from our Euro rivals in that one.

With a bit of luck, Fekir’s absence will show in their final 2 group stage games. It would certainly be an ideal boost for Celtic if it led to some dropped points next week.

And with Betis chucking the idea of an appeal, there’s no comeback opportunity for the Frenchman either.

In other news, The big talking point that went unaddressed at Celtic AGM today