Rangers have just confirmed that the club’s allocation for Thursday’s Europa League tie against Lyon has been rescinded by the French authorities.
Given everything that supporters have went through up to this stage, with various delays and restrictions to follow, this is an absolutely sickening blow which will leave hundreds, if not more, out of pocket. The club has expressed empathy with fans who have been left in a compromised position but ultimately it is a matter outwith the control of anyone at Ibrox.
UEFA must act on this and make a gesture of solidarity toward Rangers and travelling football fans.
“We regret to inform our travelling support that, within the last hour, we have been notified by the French Minister of the Interior, that away fans including corporate guests will not be admitted on Thursday night to the Groupama Stadium in Lyon, France.”
“As you are aware, we previously underlined to our support that the local authorities in France were being intransigent and initially unwilling to engage.”
“However, only late last week they agreed that we could have 2200 supporters admitted. The decision to reverse this is bemusing, and extremely frustrating, given the short notice. It beggars belief that 3 days after that decision was taken and 3 days before the match is due to be played, it is our supporters who are now going to be left out of pocket by this decision by the French interior minister.”
Rangers fans, who have taken on board various instructions for covid tests and other obstacles in the way of supporting the team, will be understandably irate at this latest development, it is ridiculous that plans have been jeopardised just three days before the game is due to take place.
Whilst most fans were due to travel as part of the official allocation, there will be some who will have tickets for the home end and to that extent, they cannot be prevented from travelling as long as they are complying with the permitted guidelines. Some of those, having forked out several hundreds of pounds at short notice, will not want to take the hit and instead will seek to find a way into the stadium to see the game.
The angry reaction from supporters on Twitter in reaction to the news from Rangers was understandable:
@4ladshadadream – “Absolutely ridiculous way to mess about our support from them!”
@dave_n84 – “That’s absolutely rotten man”
@scottmcpherson1 – “That’s a disgrace at such short notice”
@tagsbo – “That’s an absolute shocker”
@gorbalstony – “Utter shambles , folk have forked out for flights , hotels , PCR tests”
@alwaysrangers55 – “If they knew this festival was upcoming for this time, why didn’t they rearrange dates of games?”