Rangers, Eintracht Frankfurt and Football Supporters Europe (FSE) will make recommendations to UEFA following major concerns at the Europa League final in Seville.
The two clubs alongside FSE – who are an independent, non-profit association of fans recognized as a representative body on fan issues by UEFA – are working together after receiving a “huge amount of complaints and witness statements” from supporters.
Rangers have already reported “major concerns” around the treatment of supporters including “overzealous” search procedures at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium which resulted in police removing battery packs, ear pods and ladies’ make-up bags – all items which were permitted.
The clubs also raised concerns over facilities within the stadium including a lack of bottled water which Rangers said caused “severe distress” to many supporters as the temperature exceeded 30 degrees.
All three parties believe there could have been even more severe problems on the night were it not for the calm actions of the fans.
A statement said: “Last Friday, representatives of Eintracht Frankfurt, Rangers FC, and Football Supporters Europe (FSE) met to debrief and discuss several significant organizational issues during the recent UEFA Europa League final in Sevilla.
“These issues could easily have led to even more severe problems on the night and it was only thanks to the calmness and mutual respect of both sets of fans towards each other that there were not more severe injuries suffered. All three parties applauded the remarkable calmness of the two fan bases, given the situation they faced.
“Apart from the severe lack of food and – even more critically in the soaring temperatures – of water, there were several organizational problems around policing, body searches and beyond. Both clubs, as well as FSE, received a huge amount of complaints and witness statements from fans present in the stadium.
“All three parties will now work together to report back to UEFA and the local public authorities in Spain and will make recommendations to ensure these problems can never occur again at a European final.
“Fans spend a lot of effort, time and money following their teams all over Europe and expect to be treated with respect and dignity while attending football games. This expectation was not met at all at the Europa League final in Sevilla last week.”
‘I am so proud of Rangers fans’
Over 100,000 Rangers fans traveled to Seville for the final against Eintracht Frankfurt and police confirmed just one German was arrested on the day of the final.
The club’s vice-chairman John Bennett told Sky Sports: “We have had such good feedback from the police, the local authorities of this city and at La Cartuja, the stadium, and they have all said one thing, ‘wow’. Overwhelmed and overwhelmingly positive by our fans’ atmosphere, our fans ‘behavior and this is for the fans.
“Everybody naturally thinks this oven of heat combined with your drinking beer and whatever, which football fans throughout the world do of course, and of course people look and say, ‘is that a cocktail for something that might go wrong?’
“Boy oh boy. Our fans brought a cocktail of color, of noise, of positivity.
“I just want to thank them. I respect them so much. They have carried this club over the last 10 years on their backs and their shoulders. I am so proud of them.”