Football: Milan lose two points: European champions punished

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The Independent Online
A UEFA disciplinary committee yesterday deducted two European Champions' League points from the holders, Milan, and ordered them to play their next two home ties in the tournament 300km (186 miles) from their ground.

The punishment, which effectively puts Milan out of Europe's leading club competition, is the consequence of a half-full plastic bottle being thrown from the terraces and hitting the head of the Casino Salzburg goalkeeper, Otto Konrad, during Milan's 3-0 win on 28 September.

Konrad's injury occurred in the 40th minute, a few seconds after Giovanni Stroppa had put the Italians in the lead. Konrad stayed on the pitch, but was substituted after Milan's second goal. The victory had put Milan second in Group D, behind Ajax, to whom they lost in their opening match, but the Italian champions are now bottom.

Milan have already announced their intention to appeal. while Salzburg are angry that the result has not been reversed. The committee found that the injury 'did not change the face of the game'.

Fabio Capello, the Milan manager, said: 'This is a very harsh ruling. Only reversing the result to 3-0 for Salzburg would have been worse. It has made everything very difficult for us now. Every game we have left to play will be like sudden death.'

------------------------------------------------------- CHAMPIONS' LEAGUE Group D (Amended table) ------------------------------------------------------- P W D L F A Pts Ajax 2 2 0 0 4 1 4 AEK Athens 2 0 1 1 1 2 1 Austria Salzburg 2 0 1 1 0 3 1 Milan 2 1 0 1 3 2 0 ------------------------------------------------------- (Milan deducted two points) -------------------------------------------------------

Cruyff's priorities, page 46

Conflict of interest,

Celtic phone tap, page 47

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