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Off the Crossbar: Eintracht Frankfurt fuming over fan “harassment” in Champions League game against Sporting Lisbon

The Portuguese cops may have been a bit overzealous towards Frankfurt fans

Sporting CP v Eintracht Frankfurt - UEFA Champions League Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images

Normally, Bayern Munich are the only surefire Bundesliga team in the Champions League knockouts, but this time around they are joined by Eintracht Frankfurt who have booked their spot in the Round of 16 after coming from behind to beat Sporting Lisbon 2-1. While that sounded great for Die Adler, there was a matter that needed addressing: most of the fans not being able to watch the game.

According to a report by Sport1, the cops in Lisbon might have been a bit paranoid about potential disturbances brought about by travelling fans. In the case of Frankfurt, what the fans did in their miracle Europa League run last season against West Ham and FC Barcelona come to mind. The cops thus organized a police march to escort fans towards the stadium in the hope that disturbances don’t arise. However, it took too long which resulted in majority of Frankfurt fans missing out on the game.

Jesper Lindstrom from Eintracht Frankfurt (L) and Goncalo...
Frankfurt won, but the fans didn’t
Photo by Bruno de Carvalho/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Frankfurt board spokesman Axel Hellmann has voiced his disapproval on how their fans were dealt with. “Our fans were harassed a bit on the way to the stadium, we’ll have to work through that,” Hellmann said.

Around 10,000 Frankfurt fans went to Portugal to watch the game, but only one-third got into the stadium. “The stadium wasn’t full, that saddens me,” said Hellmann. “I’m sure we would regulate it differently. I have a different idea of ​​how to allow such a football festival.”

Hellmann also said that fans should also be dealt with properly both in Europe and domestically. “It’s just not European, how I would like it to be treated with football fans,” the 51-year-old said. “The way you call into the forest, it also echoes out. My wish in such matters would be to deal with it more openly and allow more.”

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