Vincent Kompany (Reuters)
Vincent Kompany has launched a staunch defence of Manchester City's fans in the wake of UEFA launching an investigation into the booing of the Champions League anthem by the club's supporters, British media reported.
European football's governing body launched disciplinary proceedings against City under regulations concerning the "disruption of the competition anthem" for the incident before the Premier League club's 2-1 home win over Sevilla on Oct. 21.
"There is nothing holy about the Champions League anthem," Kompany said.
"It's a joke. We have played many games in Europe where there has been racial abuse -- we have had to put up with it."
City's fans are frustrated with UEFA over the organisation's decision to play a Champions League match against CSKA Moscow behind closed doors last year because of a series of offences, including racial abuse, from the Russian club's fans.
City supporters who paid to travel to Moscow for the game were not compensated by UEFA, while some CSKA fans were reported to have attended the fixture.
"UEFA can do what they want to do, but in the end if people feel it's the right thing to do, they have the right to do it," the City captain said.
"How else can they show their frustration and somehow have a voice that matters?
"The fact that we were given the sanction is actually drawing more attention to what they are trying to do. We support our fans," the 29-year-old added.
UEFA's disciplinary body will consider the case against City on Nov. 19 and a charge could follow.
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