Valencia fined for bottle-throwing incident against Barca
REUTERS - Valencia have been fined 1,500 euros ($1,636.95) after a fan threw a bottle at Barcelona's players in Saturday's 3-2 La Liga defeat, the Spanish football federation (RFEF) said on Wednesday.
Lionel Messi scored an added-time penalty to win the game for Barca, whose Brazil forward Neymar was hit by the bottle as the players celebrated the goal.
The RFEF condemned the behaviour of Valencia's supporters but also criticised Barcelona's players for provoking the crowd, drawing an angry response from the Spanish champions.
It warned Valencia that their ground could be closed if such incidents were repeated while condemning the "reproachable behaviour" shown by some Barcelona players who made "certain gestures and expressions to the public" while celebrating.
"Nor was it... an example of sportsmanship the way some of the club's players reacted - without having come into contact with the bottle - by simultaneously feigning they had been struck by the object," the RFEF statement added.
"The behaviour by some Barcelona players discredits and ridicules them. But we insist that nothing, absolutely nothing, justifies a violent reaction by the public."
Barca criticised the RFEF evaluation of their players' behaviour in a statement on the club website (www.fcbarcelona.es).
"Barcelona considers totally reprehensible... the comments made by the Competition Committee of the RFEF when arguing its resolution on the events that occurred last Saturday at the Mestalla stadium," the Catalan club said.
"The Committee should have confined itself to analysing the facts and applying the existing rules.
"Barcelona understands that after this resolution, the Committee will start to analyse and judge the correctness of the way all teams celebrate each and every one of their goals."
($1 = 0.9163 euros)
(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)