Fans banned from crunch European clash over 'threats to national security' as club reveal they're 'furious' at decision | The Sun

FC BASEL have issued a furious statement after their fans were BANNED from attending their Europa Conference League clash at Nice on Thursday.

The sides drew 2-2 in last week's first leg in Switzerland, with fans well behaved and travelling Nice supporters experiencing little trouble.

After a series of meetings with authorities described as "unstructured" by Basel, the decision has been made to prohibit away fans from attending tomorrow night's game.

The reason has been described as a "national security issue" – with strikes planned for tomorrow in Nice.

On this particular reasoning, Basel wrote in an official club statement: "The fact that France is regularly affected by strikes is nothing new; it was already a fact on the day of the draw and cannot be FC Basel's problem.

"In various past (international) games, this fact has not led to the exclusion of guest fans. The city of Basel and FCB welcomed the fans from Nice with open arms, enabling the French team to support their fans at the Joggeli.


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"We are also demanding the same rights from the French authorities and the OGC Nice for tomorrow, Thursday – and thus the immediate lifting of the ban on FCB fans in Nice!

"In its charter, FC Basel 1893 condemns the blanket criminalisation of football fans – but that is exactly what the French authorities are doing in this case.

"Our charter also states that FCB conducts an open dialogue with authorities, associations, clubs and fans. In the present case, this dialogue did not exist from the start."

Basel also revealed that the match has been categorised as a "high-risk fixture" – despite the two teams having no rivalry.

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They added: "FC Basel 1893 is furious and extremely disappointed with the unacceptable course of action and the decision by the French authorities not to allow FCB fans into the second leg of the quarter-finals in Nice.

"After the first large, very unstructured telephone conference among all those involved on Maundy Thursday, the southern French prefecture sent FC Basel a list of strict conditions under which the Basel fans may travel to the away game in Nice. FCB communicated this information accordingly and started ticket sales.

"The day after this communication, the Conference League first leg between FCB and OGC Nice was played in Basel – the Nice fans were warmly welcomed both in the city and in the stadium without incident and it remained relatively peaceful.


"Another day later, on April 14, 2023, a large video conference took place in which the Nice authorities, Uefa, representatives of OGC Nice and FCB, including fan work, took part.

"In this exchange, the representatives of FC Basel met with unacceptable ignorance and arrogance on the part of the authorities."

Basel have contacted lawyers as they explore "legal remedies" to the issue.

They have also consulted Football Supporters Europe – a respected organisation that campaigns for the rights of fans.

Basel have also confirmed that if their fans remain barred from the game, they will offer "the best possible support in clarifying claims for reimbursement of travel expenses".

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