Eintracht Frankfurt’s tie with Napoli in the last-16 of the Champions League was marred with violence.
The first leg of the tie at the Deutsche Bank Arena saw violence between the sets of fans resulting in Italian authorities banning The Eagles fans from travelling to the match in Naples.
Despite this many fans still made the trip to watch their side lose 3-0, and Kicker reports Naples’ police forces had to calm down heavy riots pre-game and worked long into the night with around 100 violent criminals attempting to attack the away side’s hotel. Thankfully no one was injured in the attacks, which is what Eintracht board member Philipp Reschke wanted to highlight.
“We do not know the number of arrests on the Napoli side,” said Reschke. “We only learned that about 200 Napoli ultras were not allowed to enter the stadium due to the incidents in the city. We were also confirmed by the police that there were no injuries – which is undoubtedly and by far the most important.”
Despite the attack in the afternoon being from the Italian side’s fans, Reschke still condemned the unsavoury scenes.
“The police have confirmed to us that the attack yesterday afternoon in the city was carried out by Naples fans,” added Reschke. “But even that does not justify the potential for violence that subsequently erupted on both sides. We deeply regret the incidents that have taken place here.
“There is absolutely no justification for this violence. We may all have feared it, but it is and remains unacceptable. It harms football, it harms Eintracht Frankfurt and it damages our efforts to stand up for the rights of all fans who would have liked to see a football match here without repression and decrees in the stadium.”
The club’s board member was quite critical of the decision to ban the German club’s fans from the match.
Reschke added: “You deprive thousands of followers of the opportunity to watch such a game, poison the already tense atmosphere and finally cannot prevent those who are out to meet like-minded people from doing so. And this game and the decree games in advance prove this.
“Everything was prepared and organised, from the fan meeting point, to the transports etc. This order was exchanged for improvisation and chaos. That doesn’t justify anything, but it’s part of history.”
GGFN | Stuart McCracken