Rangers, Eintracht Frankfurt and Football Supporters Europe (FSE) will make recommendations to UEFA over their handling of the Europa League final in Seville after fans of both sides were left with a litany of complaints.
Among some of the issues reported by supporters in Seville, fans were subject to over-zealous policing and police removing battery packs, ear pods and ladies’ make-up bags – all of which were items permitted by UEFA.
Once fans got into the ground, things got even worse with reports of there being no water available for supporters despite the searing heat inside the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.
The two clubs alongside FSE – who are an independent, non-profit association of fans recognised as a representative body on fan issues by UEFA – are now working together to compile the issues faced by fans in Seville and, in a statement issued on Rangers’ website, said that organisers were lucky there weren’t severe injuries sustained.
Similarly shambolic scenes were witnessed at Saturday’s Champions League final in Paris between Liverpool and Real Madrid as thousands of fans were locked out and kick-off was delayed as a second UEFA final descended into farce.
Over 100,000 Rangers fans made the trip to Seville for the Europa League final earlier this month and, hopefully, there are some serious lessons learned by UEFA after the disastrous organisation in Seville.
Here is Rangers’ update on the issues fans faced in Seville for the UEFA Europa League final
Last Friday, representatives of Eintracht Frankfurt, Rangers FC, and Football Supporters Europe (FSE) met to debrief and discuss several significant organisational issues during the recent UEFA Europa League final in Sevilla.
These issues could easily have led to even more severe problems on the night and it was only thanks to the calmness and mutual respect of both sets of fans towards each other that there were not more severe injuries suffered. All three parties applaud the remarkable calmness of the two fan bases, given the situation they faced.
Apart from the severe lack of food and – even more critically in the soaring temperatures – of water, there were several organisational problems around policing, body searches and beyond. Both clubs, as well as FSE, received a huge amount of complaints and witness statements from fans present in the stadium.
All three parties will now work jointly to report back to UEFA and the local public authorities in Spain, and will make recommendations to ensure these problems can never occur again at a European final.
Fans spend a lot of effort, time and money following their teams all over Europe and expect to be treated with respect and dignity while attending football games. This expectation was not met at all at the Europa League final in Sevilla.