VBefore the club’s next big trip, Eintracht Frankfurt’s president Peter Fischer came once again with particularly sharp comments. “That’s the worst shit. I’m ashamed of football, which we’re already being threatened with today: we’re kicking anyone we catch who identifies as an Eintracht player,” Fischer commented on the English team’s announcement in the Europa League’s first match between West Ham United and Hesse take strict action in London on Thursday (21.00 in the FAZ live ticker for the Europa League and on RTL).
Frankfurt fans in neutral blocks? Tens of thousands of followers instead of the allowed 3000? At the request of the hosts from the island, there should be no such thing this time. Two weeks after the memorable football day in Barcelona, including the victory at the Camp Nou, Eintracht would have liked to have celebrated the next giant festival in a major European city. At least in the city, Fischer still expects large crowds of fans. “It was incredible in Milan, in Rome – wherever we were. It’s normal for us now,” Fischer told ZDF “Sportstudio”.
The evening at the Camp Nou, where up to 30,000 fans in white shirts provided a magical Frankfurt football night, left its mark in some places. At Eintracht, longing for more such evenings in London and at the final in Seville on 18 May. At West Ham, who now want to protect their Olympic Stadium particularly well from the announced “eagle invasion” (CEO Axel Hellmann). And also in Barca, where coach Xavi Hernandez criticized the club for a planning error, and club president Joan Laporta even spoke of “a shame”.
“The Spaniards can not count”
This year, there are some favorable factors for such extraordinary fan actions. After two years of corona restrictions, fans are being pulled back not only to the stadiums but also on tours. Everything fell together before the evening in the big FC Barcelona: the club immediately announced a “match of the century”, the fans booked their trips everywhere, the Easter holidays and Good Friday after the match day did the rest. Fans flew over Morocco, booked tickets through their Spanish hotels or used US credit cards.
But England is not Spain (Fischer: “The Spaniards can not count”) and West Ham is not Barça. For the capital club from England, the semi-final is in itself a huge battle plus the so-called “zero tolerance policy” at the stadium. Specifically, this means that Frankfurt fans are only allowed in the guest block.
Anyone who identifies himself as an Eintracht fan in other blocks or VIP boxes is threatened with immediate expulsion. That’s what happened to the club three years ago at Chelsea, President Fischer said. For him, the procedure is a no go. The official therefore described the fans’ anger at the English football clubs: They were to “play their international matches between Alaska and the North Sea”, it was whispered in the environment.
Fan expert Martin Endemann from the network “Football Supporters Europe” also assumes that hardly more than the planned 3,000 fans will enter the stadium. “The number of holders who will use the cards themselves will be huge. The chances for Eintracht fans are therefore quite manageable, “said Endemann from the German press agency. However, the expert believes that fans can realistically assess their chances.” It will not be comparable to Barcelona. Now a lot of people want to speculate about saving money for Sevilla, “said Endemann. There may be a German final against RB Leipzig in May.
On June 7, things could go the other way: Then thousands of English fans will go to Munich to watch their “Three Lions” play in the Nations League. According to reports, supporters are already in the process of purchasing several tickets for certain blocks using similar tricks as Eintracht fans in Barcelona. The DFB only said: “For security reasons, there is a UK country ban. All customers residing in the UK cannot buy tickets in the webshop.”