Napoli-Eintracht, the travel ban is a coincidence

Or rather: it should be.

When a fight is sacrosanct, disagreements grow narrow, the indistinct hum of the crowd echoes far away, and the truth finally comes out of itself. As long as FC Bayern Munich fans had supported compatriots Eintracht Frankfurt – after the Naples travel ban imposed by Interior Minister Piantedosi – the sluggish and sluggish eye of the social media populace had at best reduced the matter to a respectable but basically trivial ultras -Ask. Far from it: A diplomatic case has surfaced that should alarm us all – from the innocent child to the most ardent fan.

Philipp Reschke, member of the board of Eintracht, said: “Napoli’s ban on selling tickets for our sector is unparalleled in international football‘ and then added that ‘the decision is incomprehensible and distorts the conduct of the tournament’.

On the Gazetta dello Sport Elmar Bergonzini he rightly recalled the previous episodes of violence in which Eintracht fans in Europe were involved – also in Italy, for example on the occasion of Lazio vs. Eintracht 2018 -, one of the hottest in the panorama of European fans – just think of the exodus to Camp New last year. But in our opinion, the analysis misses the real target: the enormous gaps in the management of public order in Italy, hidden under the cloud of violent and evil ultras.

In fact, in a game out Red pointThe two fans have actually come into contact but without real consequences (As underlined by the Eintracht officials themselves). The Napoli fans in particular have seen their sacred right to follow the team – the same right that analogousLike a few weeks ago, it was repeatedly taken away from them in Italy.

The episode sets a disturbing precedent. Of course, there have been other times when there has been a travel ban for away fans. But the matter was mutual and decided beforehand. Not during the build-up and not after the first leg has already been played. Last year, after the draw for the Europa League group with Lazio Rome, Olympique Marseille and Galatasaray, the travel ban was immediately sanctioned in the various encounters between all three fans (not without some controversy).

“The fact that the fit was classified as an advertisement high riskalso a challenge for the security forces on site, it is not an overnight discovery, but it was clear from the day of the draw. In the first leg there was a development in line with expectations and overall well below fears ».

Philip Reschke

But that was not the end of Fantozzi’s comedy. Just before Eintracht launched an official lawsuit against the order imposed on their fans, Atalanta (Napoli’s next opponents in the league) published on their official website a statement (in a way surprising) on ​​the same subject: “Atalanta BC announces that yesterday it challenged the Regional Administrative Court of Campania against the decree of the Prefect of Naples prohibiting the sale of tickets to residents of the province of Bergamo for the Naples -Atalanta game on Saturday March 11th. The President of the Regional Administrative Court of Campania today rejected the request for an immediate suspension of the ban, calling it an appropriate measure given the rivalry between the two clubs’ supporters. Atalanta BC obviously takes note of the decision and regrets what it is directs a clear penalty at the expense of the Bergamo fans».

The Eintracht Atalanta partnership in a beautiful picture from a few years ago by Tutto Curve (Facebook)

Ironically, the Atalanta fans (already present in the first leg in Frankfurt) are the twins number one with those of Eintracht. Whose managers, Reschke keeps reminding himself, are “Preparation for a long and difficult administrative procedurebut it worked before.” What the Frankfurt club considers “unacceptable and hard to believe” is less the measure itself than the reasons for it.

Even if it may seem absurd from our cultured and aristocratic shores, the Frankfurt club has taken their fans’ disappointment at the travel ban to Naples so much to heart that they have severed all ties with the Neapolitan club and also canceled the executive lunch scheduled for matchday . Instead, Eintracht fans expressed their disappointment in the mail on the official fan page a long and romantic press release, another sad documentary source of a football that has forgotten its founding core: the fans indeed.

“It would have been a dream. The list of races we have been excluded from for various reasons is long. Whether it’s Covid or UEFA suspensions, now it’s another absurd reason for us to be stuck in one of the biggest games in recent history for our club and our fans. The press release then reiterates what we wrote at the beginning and opens up the debate about the Ultras world in general: “This decision is a frontal attack on free fan culture in Europe and can have serious consequences for all active fan scenes. Consequently, it should be fought at every level.” We strongly doubt that this will happen. At least not in Italy. Where the institutions have abandoned the fans and the fans their rebellious essence.

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