Sevilla Fans Excluded from Lens Champions League Clash: A Closer Look at the Controversial Decision

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 ban 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 decision was made due to security concerns, as the presence of Sevilla fans has been deemed a serious risk.

Lens currently sits third in Group B with five points and still has a chance of progressing to the last-16, while Sevilla is at the bottom with two points. Both teams are in contention for a Europa League spot.

The Pas-de-Calais department justified its decision by referring to previous incidents involving Sevilla fans, such as attempts to organize fights before matches and clashes with Arsenal and Roma fans. Additionally, the department mentioned the links between Sevilla supporters and those of Club de Liege, a Belgian side, as well as the migrant pressure in Calais.

Sevilla has expressed its disappointment with the ban and is actively engaging with the Spanish government to prevent its implementation. The club has already received support from a major Spanish supporters’ group, which plans to dispute the order in court.

Sevilla President Jose Castro has condemned the decision, calling it “a genuine atrocity.” The club is working closely with the national government and its liaison officer to assist affected fans. Castro emphasized that the ban was announced with very little notice, leaving fans with limited time to respond.

FASFE, the Federation of Shareholders and Members of Spanish Football, has also criticized the ban, considering it a violation of European Union rules. They plan to challenge the order in court with the support of the National Association of French Supporters and Football Supporters Europe.

Sevilla remains hopeful for a resolution and is in contact with UEFA regarding the situation. The club believes that the ban sets a dangerous precedent and intends to file a formal complaint with UEFA.

The next few hours will be crucial in resolving this issue, as Sevilla continues to advocate for its fans’ rights. The club is urging for good sense to prevail and is eagerly awaiting updates from UEFA.

(Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

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