Sevilla Fans Banned from Travelling to Lens for Champions League Match

Sevilla fans have received disappointing news as they have been prohibited from traveling to Lens for their final Champions League group stage match against the French side on Tuesday night. The decision was announced by French interior minister Gerald Darmanin in an interview on Sunday night and has now been confirmed by a local government order.

According to the order from the Pas-de-Calais department, any person identified as a Sevilla supporter or behaving as one will be forbidden from entering Lens’ Bollaert-Delelis stadium or its surroundings from 10 am on Tuesday, December 12, to 3 am on Wednesday, December 13. The department stated that the presence of Sevilla fans posed a serious security risk, citing previous incidents involving clashes between fans.

Despite the ban, both teams still have a chance of progressing to the last-16, with Lens currently in third place in Group B with five points and Sevilla at the bottom with two points. Additionally, both teams remain in contention for a Europa League spot.

Sevilla has expressed their disappointment with the decision and is actively engaging with the Spanish government to prevent the ban from being implemented. Many fans had already booked flights and made travel arrangements, leading to concerns about the fairness of the situation. The club plans to lodge a formal complaint with UEFA regarding the lack of prior notice and time for a response.

Sevilla president Jose Castro condemned the decision, calling it “a genuine atrocity.” The club’s liaison officer will be in contact with the affected fans to provide assistance, but the final outcome remains uncertain. The club has also reached out to UEFA for support and is awaiting further updates.

The Federation of Shareholders and Members of Spanish Football (FASFE) has declared the order a violation of European Union rules and intends to challenge it in court with the help of their colleagues in the National Association of French Supporters and Football Supporters Europe (FSE).

The next few hours will be crucial in resolving this issue, as both the club and fans hope that reason will prevail. The sudden announcement has caught everyone off guard, and the lack of official communication has raised concerns about the restriction of Europeans’ rights.

The match between Lens and Sevilla promises to be an exciting encounter, but unfortunately, it will take place without the presence of Sevilla fans in the stadium.

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