Why do Man City fans boo the Champions League anthem?

Manchester City do not have a long and distinguished European history, but Pep Guardiola and his team are hoping to write the first major chapter of that on Saturday evening in Turkey.

The Etihad club head to the Ataturk Stadium to play Inter Milan in the Uefa Champions League final, their second-ever appearance in such a game and aiming for their first-ever victory, having lost two years ago to Chelsea.

Come the end of the evening, supporters will be hoping to begin a massive celebration, not just of lifting this trophy but of completing a treble - with the Premier League and FA Cup already in their locker this term.

But before any thoughts of celebrating, the match has to be won and Inter overcome - and before that can happen, it’s likely that City fans will send an altogether different tone and atmosphere into the night, when the Champions League anthem sounds out ahead of kick-off.

City fans have habitually booed the anthem over the past couple of seasons, with whistles and jeers attempting to drown out the notable music pre-match when playing on home soil. That’s likely to be the case again at the Ataturk, as supporters continue their anti-Uefa stance.

While a lot of the ill-feeling toward the continent’s governing body stems from Uefa finding Man City in breach of FFP rules in 2014 - they were fined £49 million at the time - there were grievances already beforehand. One such protest arose after City were fined more for being very slightly late back out onto the pitch for the second half of a match than opponents Porto were for racially abusing Mario Balotelli in another fixture.

But in general, the poor treatment of fans - including not being allowed to travel to an away game because home fans had been banned - has been widely seen as a spark, whereas the probes and accusations towards City over financial foul play are the fire which seems to irk the supporters so much. There was, at one point, the possibility of City being banned from European competition, but this was ultimately avoided.

Back in 2015, City were even cited by a Uefa match delegate for booing the anthem, but they were not punished for it after a committee instead opted to overturn rules and allow clubs free right to protest peacefully, in contrast to fining clubs beforehand if they protested the competition or organisation.

Later, in 2019, Pep Guardiola had hoped fans were warming to the competition rather more, but the boos have been very much present during this season’s run to the final and are likely to be heard once more ahead of kick-off in Istanbul.