Admin l Thursday, March 09, 2023
FRANKFURT – Eintracht Frankfurt are seeking an injuction in order to have their fans present after all at next week’s Champions League last 16 game at Napoli, the club confirmed to dpa on Thursday. Italy’s Interior Ministry is not allowing Napoli to sell tickets to people with German residency for the March 15 game, owing to security concerns.
This includes the total allocation of 2,700 tickets, of which 2,400 are in the away section, which the Europa League holders Frankfurt, are entitled to, according to the rules of the governing body UEFA.
However, it is unlikely that the decree will be overturned, and Frankfurt board member Philipp Reschke told the Bild paper that their action “has more of a symbolic character, according to the opinion of all experts.”
There was fan violence around the first leg game in Frankfurt on February 21, with nine people temporarily arrested around the game Napoli won 2-0.
Italian authorities are also wary after crowd violence at Frankfurt’s visit to Olympique Marseille in the group stage in September when one German fan was critically injured.
Axel Hellmann, a spokesman for Frankfurt’s board and the acting managing director of the German Football League (DFL), had earlier in the week heavily criticized the Italian decision and hinted Serie A leaders Napoli were being given a helping hand.
“It is a serious and unacceptable intervention by the Italian authorities into the conduct….of European club competitions,” he told dpa.
“The Italian state says it is not in a position to safely stage a Champions League match with 2,500 visiting fans that has been fixed for several months. Unless other interests played a role here. UEFA must ensure that this does not set a precedent and jeopardize the integrity of its competitions.”