December 11, (THEWILL) – Football fans from La Liga side, Sevilla, have been prohibited from attending the club’s upcoming UEFA Champions League match against Lens in France, due to security concerns. The ban, announced by French officials, restricts anyone identified as a Sevilla supporter from entering Lens’ stadium or surrounding areas on match day.
The move comes after clashes involving Sevilla fans and opposition supporters during recent European matches. French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin confirmed the ban in an interview, citing attempted coordination between Lens and Sevilla supporters for violence and disorderly conduct by Sevilla fans in prior games.
Sevilla denounced the ban in a statement, claiming fans are being unfairly targeted at the last minute. They plan to formally complain to UEFA as many supporters had already made match-day travel plans. Spanish fan group FASFE declared intentions to legally dispute what they deemed an “illegal order” violating EU rules on free movement.
The announcement also referenced ongoing migrant issues in Calais as justification. The ban is set from Tuesday, at 10 AM until early Wednesday, encompassing the crucial UCL group stage match where both clubs remain in contention to advance in the European tournaments.
Sevilla currently sits last in the group standings, while Lens is third with chances remaining to progress. The clubs also retain chances to qualify for the Europa League knockout phase. Officials ultimately determined the presence of away fans posed unwarranted safety risks.
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Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.