Eintracht react to fan exclusion: "Competitive distortion!"
By Peter Vice @ViceytheSS
Following the sad news that the Italian Interior Ministry had forbidden S.S.C. Napoli from selling tickets to the traveling Eintracht Frankfurt support for next week's round-of-16 Champions' League tie, the German club has issued a statement denouncing the move.
The Italian authorities are reportedly in no mood to take any chances in allowing Frankfurt stands into the stadium. Local state radio "Hessische Rundfuck" even claims that German citizens will be banned from entering the city on the day of the fixture. Clashes between the two fan groups during the Frankfurt-lef of the round-of-16 tie lend the Italian government some case for making the decision.
SGE board member Philipp Retschke, in the first statement issued by the German club, has roundly condemned this "case" as incomprehensible. Retschke noted that Eintracht welcomed Napoli fans to the Deutsche Bank Park despite security concerns. The club administrator then spoke of the "dangerous precedent" this could set if UEFA choses not to intervene.
"UEFA must ensure that this does become the standard via a 'Domino Effect'," Retschke noted in his statement, "I am sure that they can draft future regulations ensuring that clubs must adhere to certain rules. Pandora's Box can be opened with this unprecedented and unique event in European football."
"It's a very sad day," Retschke added, "There are constantly high-risk games taking place. This interference in the fan-culture casts doubt on the integrity of the competition. Influencing the competition via arguments concerning the security situation is, in our vie, a competitive distortion."
Die Eintracht wurde gestern am späten Abend von der UEFA darüber informiert, dass das italienische Innenministerium eine Verfügung gegen @sscnapoli erlassen wird, wonach dem Verein der Verkauf von Gästetickets für das Achtelfinalrückspiel untersagt ist.https://t.co/d99c5boAuo— Eintracht Frankfurt (@Eintracht) March 7, 2023