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UEFA urged to reverse blanket ban on away fans

Football Supporters Europe (FSE) are urging UEFA to reverse their decision to put a blanket ban on away fans at European competition this season – arguing instead for a case-by-case approach.

Back in June, UEFA’s executive committee decided to block all admittance of away fans to the qualifying and play-off phases of the Champions League, Europa League and the newly-formed Europa Conference League.

Now Football Supporters Europe, the umbrella organisation representing fans across the continent, are calling for an end to that restriction.

“International travel is currently permitted for many citizens in the UEFA region,” FSE said. “Football fans should not be subject to specific exclusions, which amount to a form of unequal treatment.

“As things stand, however, a group of Dutch fans, for example, can visit France, go to a cinema, music festival, and sporting event together, but still be barred from attending their own club’s match in a stadium that is filled with home fans.”

Currently, almost all European countries are open for overseas travel with few to no restrictions. Despite this, UEFA is maintaining a blanket ban on away fans but the governing body is set to revisit the decision next week.

“FSE therefore believes that guidelines on away fans should be decided on a case-by-case basis in line with the local public health situation and advice of the relevant public authorities—which the overwhelming majority of fans have respected throughout the pandemic and fully understand are liable to change.

“We have communicated this position to UEFA and asked for a timely re-evaluation of its existing policy before the fixture list is announced so that fans have ample opportunity to make any travel-related decisions.”

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