Sevilla Fans Banned from Travelling to Lens for Champions League Match
Sevilla fans have received disappointing news as they have been banned from attending their team’s final Champions League group stage match against Lens in France. The ban was announced by French interior minister Gerald Darmanin and has been confirmed by a local government order.
According to the order from the Pas-de-Calais department, any person showing themselves to be a Sevilla supporter or behaving as such will not be allowed to enter Lens’ Bollaert-Delelis stadium or its surroundings from Tuesday, December 12 at 10am until Wednesday, December 13 at 3am.
Lens currently sits in third place in Group B with five points, still having a chance to advance to the last-16. Meanwhile, Sevilla is at the bottom of the group with only two points. Both teams are still in contention for a Europa League spot.
The decision to ban Sevilla fans was made due to concerns over security. The order mentioned previous incidents, including attempts at contact between Lens and Sevilla fans to organize a fight before their first match in September, clashes between Sevilla and Arsenal fans after their game in September, and conflicts between Sevilla and Roma fans before last season’s Europa League final.
The order also cited the friendship between Sevilla supporters and those of Belgian side Club de Liege, who could potentially travel to the match due to their geographical proximity. Additionally, the order referenced the high migrant pressure in Calais.
Sevilla has expressed its disappointment and is actively engaging with the Spanish government to prevent the ban from being implemented. Many fans have already made travel arrangements and booked flights. A major Spanish supporters’ group has also stated that it will challenge the order in court.
Sevilla President Jose Castro called the decision “a genuine atrocity” and emphasized the club’s efforts to resolve the situation. He expressed hope that good sense would prevail and mentioned that they have reached out to UEFA for assistance.
FASFE, the Federation of Shareholders and Members of Spanish Football, considers the order to be a violation of European Union rules. They plan to dispute it in court with the support of the National Association of French Supporters and Football Supporters Europe.
The next few hours will be crucial in resolving this issue, as the ban has caused frustration among fans and raised concerns about limitations on Europeans’ rights. Sevilla is determined to find a solution and ensure that their supporters can attend the match.