He is known for clear words, for his clear attitude. When Dirk Zingler, the president of 1. FC Union Berlin, was asked on Thursday evening about the exclusion of Eintracht Frankfurt fans from the second leg in the Champions League at SSC Naples on March 15, he became clear.
“This is a catastrophic development. We must not forget that we are playing for people and must be careful not to lose sight of the core. Uefa must take action and not allow themselves to be fooled. In the end, the state, we must be able to organize these games safely,” said Zingler in an interview on RTL.
Background: The Italian Ministry of the Interior has issued an injunction against league leaders SSC Napoli, which means that they are not allowed to sell tickets to Frankfurt fans for the second leg. The Hessians defend themselves and take action against it with a temporary injunction. The club confirmed this in a statement on Thursday evening. However, the chances of Frankfurt supporters being able to attend the second leg in the round of 16 of the premier class at SSC Napoli next Wednesday are very low.
Union, Zingler’s club, had their home game in the round of 16 of the Europa League against Royale Union Saint-Gilloise (3:3) on Thursday evening. Just a few days ago, Uefa fined the Berliners 30,000 euros and banned fans on probation. The reason for this is the use of pyrotechnics in the 0:0 in the sixteenth final in Amsterdam.
“We have lodged an appeal against Uefa’s verdict because we find it disproportionate,” Zingler was quoted as saying in Union’s current stadium magazine: “Collective penalties at the expense of many bystanders are wrong. But just as wrong is a culture or form of self-support of the club, in which other groups and people are dominated and have to bear consequences for which they are not responsible. The club cannot and will not accept rule violations of this kind.”
Eintracht Frankfurt has taken legal advice on the orders of the Italian authorities. “Realistically, with our experienced Italian lawyers, we have little hope of being able to overturn the injunction in summary proceedings. According to all experts, it has a more symbolic character,” Eintracht board member Philipp Reschke told BILD: “We are preparing for a long and tough administrative process.”
He spoke of a unique and competition-distorting process in European club football. “The fact that the games against Naples would be classified as so-called high-risk games due to the rivalry and the overall circumstances, which of course also posed a challenge for the respective security officers on site, is not a new finding overnight, but was clear from the day of the draw,” said Reschke .
The Neapolitan security authorities have had four months to prepare and are “either unwilling or unable to provide security around this game in the city and in the stadium. “Both are equally unacceptable and hard to believe,” complained Reschke.