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 10am on Tuesday, December 12 to 3am on Wednesday, December 13. The decision was made due to security concerns, as previous incidents involving Sevilla fans and clashes with other fan groups were cited as evidence of potential risks.
Despite the ban, both teams still have a chance to secure a spot in the Europa League. Lens currently sits in third place in Group B with five points, while Sevilla is at the bottom with two points.
Sevilla has expressed their disappointment and is actively working with the Spanish government to prevent the ban from being enforced. Many fans had already made travel arrangements and booked flights, making the situation particularly challenging. The club plans to file a complaint with UEFA regarding the lack of notice and time to respond to the ban.
Sevilla president Jose Castro called the decision “a genuine atrocity” and emphasized the club’s efforts to assist affected fans. The club’s liaison officer will be in contact with them to provide support. Castro also mentioned that they have reached out to UEFA for assistance and are awaiting further updates.
FASFE, the Federation of Shareholders and Members of Spanish Football, considers the ban to be a violation of European Union rules. They plan to dispute the order in court with the support of their colleagues in the National Association of French Supporters and Football Supporters Europe.
The next few hours will be crucial in resolving this issue, as Sevilla continues to work towards finding a solution. The club hopes that reason will prevail and that the rights of European football fans will not be restricted in such a manner.
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