Thursday, 20 September 2018
Last 19th of May, Eintracht Frankfurt fans were not only celebrating their club’s victory in the German Cup, but also their return to UEFA competitions after 5 years of absence. The first away game of Eintracht’s 2018-19 European campaign was meant to be a celebration, with thousands of fans following their team.
UEFA’s sanction against Olympique de Marseille casted a first shadow on Eintracht’s return, its supporters being the “collateral victims” of a disciplinary decision against the French club. By imposing OM to play its first home game behind closed doors, UEFA’s disciplinary body did not only punish tens thousands of local fans for the behavior of a few and the club’s failure to meet its obligations, but it also deprived Eintracht fans from their right to support their team. This stadium closure is nothing but a collective punishment and we are calling UEFA to put an end to these unfair measures.
Hundreds of them decided nevertheless to accompany the club to Marseille, visiting a neighboring European country like tens of millions of tourists every year. On Monday 17 September, 4 days only before the game, Eintracht Frankfurt and its supporters organisations were informed that the Préfecture de Police des Bouches-du-Rhône published an administrative order collectively depriving them from the right to enter the City of Marseille. Or at least to identify themselves and/or act as Eintracht Frankfurt fans within the territory of the city…
Yesterday, Football Supporters Europe (FSE), the Association Nationale des Supporters (ANS) and Eintracht Frankfurt jointly filed motions for summary judgement at the administrative court of Marseille, challenging the legality of the administrative order with the intention to make it possible for Eintracht fans to visit Marseille. The emergency court hearing will take place today at 10:00.
We believe the reasons given by the Préfecture de Police are invalid. Last time Eintracht went to follow their team to France, they took 13.000 fans to Bordeaux for a game which went “without any incident”, according to the local police. Furthermore, no rivalries between the two sets of supporters could justify enhanced security measures. We also strongly question the claim made by the local authorities that they are not able to accommodate a few hundred Eintracht fans for this game, while over 10.000 German fans would have visited Marseille without the stadium closure.
We are therefore calling French authorities to reconsider their decision and welcome Eintracht fans in the City of Marseille. We are ready to defend the freedom of movement which should be prevail for every EU citizen, including football fans. Regardless of the outcome at today’s hearing, we are prepared to go through all national and European instances to challenge the specific treatment imposed to football fans by the local authorities.
Signatories: Association Nationale des Supporters, Football Supporters Europe, Frankfurt FanClubVerband e.V., Eintracht Frankfurt Fan- und Förderabteilung, Nordwestkurve e.V., Ultras Frankfurt