Football Supporters Europe (FSE) and the Broomloan Collective urgently call on SSC Napoli, the Italian authorities, and all other stakeholders involved, to ensure the safety and security of fans travelling to Italy next week by allowing them to attend their UCL game as planned.
Both FSE and the Broomloan Collective, which represents a majority of the active Rangers’ fan groups, were extremely dismayed with the last-minute decision made by Police Scotland to exclude travelling away supporters from attending the UCL fixture at Ibrox between Rangers and Napoli last month.
Napoli supporters, through no fault of their own and having already spent time and money preparing for the trip, were denied the opportunity to see their team play football because of a police resourcing issue in Glasgow.
Uefa subsequently took the decision not to allow away fans to attend the return fixture. Since then, we have been working with Uefa to try and reverse that decision with the intention of finding an acceptable solution. However, this week the police in Naples, following the position of SSC Napoli, took the decision that the away fan sector must remain closed for the match.
In the meantime, Rangers fans spent hundreds of pounds booking flights and accommodation in the reasonable expectation they will be able to support their football club in Europe.
Supporters who have already booked will travel to Italy next week, regardless of no away section being permitted, to soak up the atmosphere pre-match and be near their team. A survey conducted by Broomloan Collective shows 80% of fans fully booked intend to travel whatever the Italian authorities decide. Clearly, the most effective safety and security measure for all supporters next week is to reverse the decision and provide a proper away section for travelling fans.
Napoli supporters in contact with FSE stated their firm desire for travelling Rangers supporters to be allowed into the stadium next week. Why? Because the presence of both home and away fans will create the vibrant atmosphere that supporters relish and look forward to.
We call on all stakeholders involved, particularly SSC Napoli and the Italian authorities, to ensure the safety and security of all Rangers supporters by allowing them to support their team inside the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona this coming week.
For more information, contact info[at]fanseurope.org.