Rangers fans have been left frustrated at the news no Gers fans will be allowed access to the Groupama Stadium in Lyon for the club’s Europa League clash with the Ligue 1 side.
The Gers are set to face off against the French outfit in the final Europa League game of the group stage with the outcome of Group A already decided.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) December 6, 2021
Rangers will go through as runners up with Lyon already guaranteed a spot as group winners with the match set to see some rotation amid a hectic winter schedule.
Nonetheless, this game was signposted as a major trip for Rangers fans but the club have just announced any travelling supporters won’t be allowed access to the French side’s ground.
This decision comes despite the French authorities confirming 2200 fans would be admitted to the ground only a matter of days ago.
Rangers – branding the French authorities “intransigent” and the decision “bemusing” – claim the authorities have pointed to policing efforts with a “festival of light” planned in Lyon city centre.
As a result of the move, Rangers have urged the thousands of supporters who’ve already made travel plans not to make the trip to France.
Rangers fans left furious over Lyon decision by French authorities
“We regret to inform our travelling support that, within the last hour, we have been notified by the French Minister of the Interior, that away fans including corporate guests will not be admitted on Thursday night to the Groupama Stadium in Lyon, France.
“We understand that there is a “festival of light” planned in the city which will test the policing resource and city infrastructure. As you are aware, we previously underlined to our support that the local authorities in France were being intransigent and initially unwilling to engage.
“However, only late last week they agreed that we could have 2200 supporters admitted. The decision to reverse this is bemusing, and extremely frustrating, given the short notice. It beggars belief that 3 days after that decision was taken and 3 days before the match is due to be played, it is our supporters who are now going to be left out of pocket by this decision by the French interior minister.
“We empathise with the feeling of supporters, who have made travel plans months in advance. Furthermore, we were allocated tickets several weeks ago, which adds further confusion to the most recent decision to not admit our fans.
“Rest assured, we have made representations to UEFA, OL and the French authorities. However, regrettably, this situation is now out with our control.
“Nevertheless, we are duty bound to ask all supporters including corporate guests to not travel to France.
“We appreciate the frustration of our support, and will work to ensure a refund for tickets is processed forthwith.”
Rangers fans have been left gutted by the decision and took to Twitter to express their frustration with how the entire thing has been handled by the authorities:
What a joke. https://t.co/GuIRRHP1n6
— Kieran (@kieranmcl96) December 6, 2021
Shambles from the start 🤦🏼♂️ https://t.co/9U1WOOHQ9T
— Jono (@JonoButchart) December 6, 2021
Was a shambles from the start 😂 https://t.co/SpBS4Fcxug
— James Morrow (@jamesmorrow22) December 6, 2021
Absolute shambles especially after confirming tickets last week. Like many others hotel, flight, testing etc. booked 🤦♂️ https://t.co/qk7wPhNT1v
— Stuart (@BlueHeaven1872) December 6, 2021
What an absolute shambles given they confirmed tickets last week. https://t.co/a9nBRphpgt
— Scott Christian (@s_c_o_t_t_c_h) December 6, 2021
— Ross Macfarlane (@r_i_mac83) December 6, 2021
Poor from show from the French here https://t.co/yYc0qWu5tJ
— Craig Van Smith 🇬🇧 (@csljm84) December 6, 2021
Flights, accommodation, the covid tests and time booked off work costs a lot for working class fans.
Telling them they can come, then cancelling 3 days before the game, is so ludicrously out of touch. Asking for crowd trouble. https://t.co/JnCsKzItMV
— West End Bluenose 🇳🇱 (@WestEndBluenose) December 6, 2021
— Kenny Van Staunchorst🇳🇱 (@Djordjic_2) December 6, 2021
Think they might find a lot of fans still going for a city break this week. Abysmal from the 🇫🇷 authorities and don't expect UEFA to provide any assistance🙄 https://t.co/7iUEVHFDEl
— Scott Cameron (@Cammy26_2) December 6, 2021
Shocking decision by the French authorities so late on https://t.co/g1Fxaw8trY
— Linda ross (@weelindyRTID) December 6, 2021
Joke…. spent an absolute fortune on this trip 😑 https://t.co/3qjaRFpNub
— steven Hutchison (@StevenH1873) December 6, 2021
No away fans on Thursday 😫 https://t.co/bkThPsDrmW
— The Louden Tavern (@TheLoudenTavern) December 6, 2021
Lyon not letting in away fans.
If anyone wants me I’ll be over here hitting my head off the table. https://t.co/ruZIQOwXET
— Heart & Hand Podcast (@ibroxrocks) December 6, 2021
Rangers fans who’ve forked out on flights, hotels and tickets are now left gutted just days before they were due to attend the Europa League match with Lyon.
The Festival of Lights is set to take place between Wed 8th December to Sat 11th but the authorities knew this before announcing the tickets last week.
Initially the police had planned for Gers fans to be banned from the city centre during the event but now the rug appears to have been pulled out from underneath supporters.
Ahead of the match, Rangers will also have some Europa League optimism with the star-studded Lyon side stuttering in Ligue 1.