Eintracht Frankfurt seek court injunction against fan ban at Napoli

Eintracht Frankfurt vs Napoli

EINTRACHT Frankfurt say they are seeking an injunction in order to have their fans present after all at next week’s UEFA Champions League last-16 game at Napoli.

The Bundesliga club said on Thursday in a statement it was contesting a decision from Italy’s Interior Ministry.

It is a decision which is not allowing Napoli to sell tickets to people with German residency for the March 15 game, owing to security concerns.

This includes the total allocation of 2,700 tickets, of which 2,400 are in the away section, which the Europa League title-holders Eintracht Frankfurt, are entitled to.

This is according to the rules of the governing body UEFA.

Eintracht Frankfurt said they received the Italian decision earlier Thursday.

Their board member, Philipp Reschke, said they were now working together with Italian lawyers to stop the ruling being applied, even though they do not really expect to succeed.

“Realistically, with our experienced Italian lawyers, we have little hope of being able to overturn the injunction in an urgent procedure. Settlement cases from Serie A also show that,” Reschke said.

“We are preparing for a long and tough administrative procedure.”

There was fan violence around the first leg game in Frankfurt on Feb. 21, with nine people temporarily arrested around the game Napoli won 2-0.

Italian authorities are also wary after crowd violence at Frankfurt’s visit to Olympique Marseille in the group stage in September when one German fan was critically injured.

Reschke criticised the decision as “a unique and competition-distorting occurrence in European club football.

“The fact that the games against Napoli would be classified as so-called ‘high-risk games’ due to the rivalry and the overall circumstances, which of course also posed a challenge for the respective security officials on site, is not an overnight realisation.

”But that was clear from the day of the draw,” he said.

“The course of the first leg was in line with expectations and on the whole remained well below fears.

“So, the starting position for the second leg has not changed at all because of the first leg.

“The Neapolitan security authorities have had four months and are either unwilling or unable to provide security around this match in the city and in the stadium.

“Both are equally unacceptable and hard to believe.”(dpa/NAN)