October 25, 2016

Pellegrini happy for City fans to boo UEFA anthem

Manchester City`s Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini attends a press conference following a team training session in Manchester on Monday. AFP

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is happy for the club’s supporters to boo the Champions League anthem, he said on Monday, as long as it continues to bring them success.

City’s supporters have jeered the music, which is played before every Champions League game, ever since a group of CSKA Moscow fans managed to attend a game against City in October 2014 despite the Russian club being ordered to play the match behind closed doors over racism offences.

Financial Fair Play sanctions from UEFA have also turned City’s fans against European football’s governing body and Pellegrini will not mind if they continue to voice their discontent in Tuesday’s quarter-final second leg against Paris Saint-Germain.

“It depends if you are superstitious or not,” Pellegrini told a press conference ahead of the game, which follows last week’s 2-2 first-leg draw.

“If you are superstitious, we continue winning when they boo the hymn of the Champions (League). I don’t know if they will do it.

“It’s important to have a good game tomorrow, to enjoy the game and try to avoid all those unnecessary things.”

Despite the fact City are seeking to qualify for the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in their history, tickets for the game were still available on Monday.

City have struggled to sell out the Etihad Stadium in the Champions League, but Pellegrini is hopeful that gala occasions such as Tuesday’s showdown with the French champions will change that.

“I think that tomorrow we will have a full capacity here,” he said.

“The fans, maybe for different reasons, have not been 100 percent in this European competition, but as we continue further I think they will do it.

“They know that tomorrow is a very important achievement for the club, so I don’t have any doubt that we are going to have 100 percent of their support.”

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