Malagueños out shopping queue up to sign the manifesto. Álvaro Cabrera
More than 45,000 people to date have registered their support for Malaga Club de Fútbol following UEFA’s move to ban the currently fourth-placed club from future European competition for at least a season for flouting its financial fair play (FFP) regulations.
Since it was established on Christmas Eve, the online petition, known as ‘Manifiesto por el Malaga’, has been signed by not only ardent Blue and Whites fans but also by prominent members of Malaga society, politicians, celebrities, business owners, and many thousands of other ‘Malagueños’ from across the province, and beyond, who feel outraged by the European governing body’s “disproportionate and unjust” sanction.
Amongst the dignitaries and famous faces who have added their weight to the cause are the Mayor of Malaga Francisco de la Torre, the Junta de Andalucía’s Head of Culture and Sport, Luciano Alonso, and the internationally acclaimed Malaga-born singer, Diana Navarro.
It is hoped the campaign, which has made national news headlines and which has been almost continually ‘trending’ on the social network Twitter, will obtain 60,000 names before its conclusion.
Those wishing to pledge their support for Malaga can submit their details via the website www.manifiestoporelmalaga.com, via the ‘Manifiesto Por El Malaga’ Facebook page, or by emailing the lobby group leaders at email@example.com.
SUR will publish the names of the signatories and the petition will be presented to UEFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the organisation to which Malaga CF is appealing the decision.
Writing on an online news forum, one of those who have signed the ‘Manifiesto’ commented: “It’s a real shame that football has to become political in this way but, unfortunately, UEFA has left us with no option.
“Yet it’s heart-warming to see so many people from Malaga, even those who have previously not really cared about the Club, come together for this cause that will, inevitably, affect not only the Club but the city and the entire province.”
The ‘Manifiesto por el Malaga’ reads: “The signatories of this petition, against UEFA’s disproportionate and unjust decision to exclude Malaga CF from participating in European competition as the club reaches its sporting peak, demand that … UEFA lifts the punishment and drops the easy temptation to make an example of a team that is still in its infancy in European competition whilst [at the same time] it tolerates the excesses of other larger, more established clubs, on the condition that Malaga does not flout the regulations again.”
The petition goes on to demand that the provincial, regional and central governments promise to “defend the interests of the organisation”, and that Royal Federation of Spanish Football becomes involved to help resolve the challenges facing “a historic and national football team.”