The partial ban on ticket sales to Eintracht fans for the Champions League game in Naples causes great annoyance in Frankfurt. The club ends the authorities’ game.
Eintracht Frankfurt has stopped the Italian security authorities’ ticket posse before the round of 16 second leg in the Champions League at SSC Naples.
The Bundesliga soccer club sees itself in the dispute over the partial ban on selling tickets to Frankfurt fans, but will voluntarily waive the guest contingent of 2,700 tickets for the game on Wednesday (9 p.m. / DAZN).
The German press agency answers the most important questions about the unprecedented case, which Frankfurt’s board spokesman Axel Hellmann had criticized as “serious and unacceptable intervention by the Italian security authorities in the organization and culture of the European club competitions”.
What is the current status of the cause?
The Prefecture of Naples decreed on Sunday evening that the leaders of the Italian Serie A may not sell tickets for the game to people residing in Frankfurt am Main. The administrative court of Campania had previously granted an urgent application by the Hessians and declared the sales ban issued by the Italian Ministry of the Interior for people resident throughout Germany to be illegal. The court justified its decision with the fact that the general exclusion of all fans from Germany was disproportionate.
Frankfurt board member Philipp Reschke described the new decree as “no less illegal in content and justification and also completely unsuitable because two thirds of our fans are known to come from the Rhine-Main region and not from Frankfurt”. Nevertheless, one will “completely forego the away contingent if, contrary to expectations, the availability does not change at short notice”.
What is the purpose of the ban?
The Italian security authorities fear riots between the hostile fan camps of both clubs around the game. The new decree is a desperate and controversial attempt to prevent Eintracht supporters from going to Naples. According to the prefecture, the city wants to avoid “risks to the protection of order and public safety” that could possibly threaten when Frankfurt fans travel to southern Italy.
Why is Eintracht currently waiving the 2,700 tickets to which it is entitled under UEFA regulations?
On the one hand, the club wants to avoid that the games played by the Italian authorities drive a wedge between its fans. “We will not be divided into postal code areas,” emphasized Reschke. On the other hand, the Hessians fear a heated atmosphere in the city on Vesuvius and a resulting danger to the safety of their supporters. “We don’t want to expose anyone on site to the obvious danger of arbitrariness by the authorities, as we have been experiencing in unprecedented form with all those responsible in Naples since the first leg,” said Reschke.
Does Eintracht accept the new decree?
No. The club has already announced that it will also appeal against the new order from the Naples Prefecture. “In view of the time, it is now primarily about the principle and the future,” said Reschke about the forthcoming and lengthy legal measures.
Is it to be expected that Frankfurt fans will still travel to Naples?
At least the Italian authorities assume so and have strengthened their security measures. According to media reports, passengers on flights from Germany should be particularly monitored at Capodichino Airport. The Digos police unit, which specializes in fighting terrorism, also intercepted messages and threats from the fan scene, which should not be underestimated.
What do the representatives of the fans say?
Dario Minden from the board of the Frankfurt fan department demands consequences from the European Football Union in the dispute. “UEFA must not stand idly by. We expect a clear positioning. It is a clear UEFA rule that five percent of the stadium capacity must be securely separated and assigned to the visiting club. A location that cannot guarantee this is in Europe Nothing lost in the competition,” Minden told the German Press Agency. Minden fears that the case could have consequences beyond the game. “Many in the football business probably don’t yet understand the scope of what Naples is pulling off Eintracht Frankfurt. That endangers the whole European away culture if it’s so easy to exclude visiting fans,” he said. “Ultimately that’s where all the magic of the European Cup goes to the dogs.”
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