Champions League: Violent excesses overshadow Eintracht-Aus in Naples

Champions League: Violent excesses overshadow Eintracht-Aus in Naples

Champions League
Violent excesses overshadow Eintracht-Aus in Naples

Before the game, there are clashes between the police and fans of Eintracht Frankfurt.  Photo: Stefano Gattordo/LaPresse

Before the game, there are clashes between the police and fans of Eintracht Frankfurt. photo

© Stefano Gattordo/LaPresse via AP/dpa

Despite the failure in the round of 16, Eintracht Frankfurt rated the premiere season in the premier class as a success. Only the appearance of the fans in Naples doesn’t fit into the positive picture at all.

The police had just ended the last riots with a large contingent when the disappointed professionals from Eintracht Frankfurt after the crashing end in the Champions League accompanied by a blue light escort in front of their team hotel.

The violent circumstances surrounding the 0:3 defeat in the round of 16 second leg at Italian top club SSC Napoli formed an unworthy framework for the end of the premiere season of the Bundesliga soccer club in the premier class and will keep the Hessians busy for some time.

Unity condemns violence

“We deeply regret the events that have taken place here. There is absolutely nothing to justify this violence. We may all have feared it, but it is and will remain unacceptable,” he said Frankfurt’s Board member Philipp Reschke before the team’s departure.

The violence that erupted in street battles surrounding Wednesday night’s game had far-reaching repercussions. “It hurts football, it hurts Eintracht Frankfurt and it harms our efforts to stand up for the rights of all fans, who would have liked to see a football game here without repression and decrees in the stadium,” emphasized Reschke.

Also Eintracht coach Oliver Glasner expressed his displeasure at the serious riots. “I condemn all forms of violence and crime, no matter where and when it happens in the world, so I don’t approve of it,” said the 48-year-old.

Several street battles broke out in Naples

Shortly before midnight, violence broke out again around the team’s accommodation. According to the police, around 100 Naples supporters had tried to get to the neighboring hotel, where a few hundred ultras from Frankfurt had stayed and were preparing to leave by bus. The Napoli ultras lit firecrackers and threw stones at the emergency services.

Already on Wednesday afternoon, the fans of both teams had fought street battles with the police in the city center. “Of course we noticed that. It’s not something that belongs here. We can’t approve of that,” Frankfurt’s sports director Markus Krösche criticized the incidents, which also left their mark on the players. “You get that, but I don’t want to talk about it,” said Captain Sebastian Rode.

Reschke, who is responsible for fan issues, did that. The police have confirmed to the club that the attack in the city came from Naples fans. “But even that doesn’t justify the potential for violence that erupted on both sides,” said the 50-year-old.

Criticism of ticket ban

However, Reschke also criticized the Italian security authorities, who had contributed to the escalation with the previously issued ticket ban for Eintracht fans. This alienated thousands of followers and poisoned the already tense atmosphere. “Everything was prepared and organized, from the fan meeting point to the transports, etc. This order was exchanged for improvisation and chaos,” said Reschke. “That doesn’t justify anything, but it’s part of the story.”

Normally, the Frankfurt pros would have been celebrated by their supporters for their premiere season in the premier class, regardless of the elimination. But the guest block in the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium remained empty because of the ban on the sale of tickets to Eintracht fans imposed by the Naples Prefecture. But there were a few hundred ultras in the city on Vesuvius, who simply didn’t care about football.

According to the police, two officers were injured in the riots. Three Eintracht fans were arrested during the night. There were a total of eight arrests, police chief Alessandro Giuliano reported at a press conference.

Pushed to the limit in terms of sport – nevertheless satisfied

Eintracht has once again suffered damage to its image, although the club has nothing to reproach itself for in terms of sport. “Naples was a size too big. That’s why I can accept the defeat with a clear conscience,” said Glasner about the end and praised: “I’m proud of what the team did in the Champions League. We did a great job.”

In the coming weeks, the recently weakening Europa League winner wants to tighten up again in order to make renewed participation in the international competition perfect. There is a chance to do so in both the Bundesliga and the DFB Cup. “It’s great to experience such football evenings. We want to crown and gild the season.”

Krösche is confident that this will succeed. “There’s no crack,” he prophesied. The team simply reached their limit against Naples. “We accept that,” emphasized the sports director.

Glasner also classified the knockout realistically: “I would have liked it to have been different and would have been there up to the final. But we can’t play at this level yet.”


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