Reports hint at ban postponement

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Atletico Madrid are awaiting confirmation the stadium ban imposed by UEFA has been postponed which would see Liverpool play at the Vicente Calderon next Wednesday.

European football's governing body ruled the Spanish club must play their next two Champions League games at least 200 miles from the capital - a third game was suspended - while they were also fined £117,000.

Liverpool officials and manager Rafael Benitez also expressed concern their fans were facing a late change to their travel arrangements and reports in Spain indicate UEFA have had a change of heart and will instead allow the match to be staged at the Calderon.

Atletico have received the full backing of the Spanish government.

Spain's Minister of Interior Affairs, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, said: "I will defend the actions of the Spanish police and we will hand all the necessary material that we have available to Atletico Madrid so that they can present an appeal against this unusual decision."

Soledad Mestre, a local government official, added: "The actions taken by the police were correct and proportionate in view of the violent behaviour by a section of Marseille fans."

Atletico president Enrique Cerezo also reiterated his belief the game will be played at the club's own ground.

"I urge the fans to be calm because the game will be played at the Vicente Calderon," Cerezo said. "Any other decision would create a social, logistic and security problem.

"There is no other stadium available and we are convinced that this game will be played here because Atletico has done nothing wrong."

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