Sevilla Supporters Excluded from Lens Champions League Clash: A 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 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 now been confirmed by a local government order.

According to the order from the Pas-de-Calais department, any person who identifies themselves as a Sevilla supporter or behaves as such will be prohibited from entering Lens’ Bollaert-Delelis stadium or its surroundings from 10am on Tuesday, December 12 to 3am on Wednesday, December 13.

Lens currently sits in third place in Group B with five points and still has a chance of advancing 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 cited 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 mentioned 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, it referenced the high migrant pressure in Calais as another reason for the ban.

Sevilla has expressed its disappointment with the decision and is actively engaging with the Spanish government to prevent the ban from being implemented. Many fans have already booked flights and made travel arrangements. A major Spanish supporters’ group has stated that it will challenge the order in court.

Sevilla president Jose Castro described the decision as “a genuine atrocity” and assured fans that the club is doing everything possible to resolve the situation. The club’s liaison officer will be in contact with the affected fans to provide assistance. Sevilla has also lodged a formal complaint with UEFA regarding the lack of notice and time for response.

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 the National Association of French Supporters and Football Supporters Europe.

The next few hours will be crucial in resolving this matter, as Sevilla hopes that good sense will prevail and their fans will be able to attend the match. The club has also reached out to UEFA for further updates.

(Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

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