Rangers fans face Lyon ticket impasse over French police issue at Europa League fixture

French police have yet to confirm if Rangers fans can attend the final UEFA Europa League group stage match against Lyon next week.

Jerome Boateng of Olympique Lyonnais challenges Ryan Kent when the sides met in September. Lyon won the match. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Jerome Boateng of Olympique Lyonnais challenges Ryan Kent when the sides met in September. Lyon won the match. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The game is now a dead rubber with the French side winning the section and Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side securing second place and a berth in the lat 32 knock-out play-off.

However a travelling contingent from Glasgow had planned to attend – and Lyon allocated a section of the Groupama Stadium for visiting supporters – but a lack of clarity from local authorities and police has thrown a spanner in the works and the club is still in the dark with ten days to go.

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Rangers revealed their frustrations and gave an update to fans that they had, as yet, received no further news from France. The club’s statement said: “After engaging with Lyon and the local authorities in France, we are currently unable to provide clarity on the ticketing allocation for our away support.

“This is of great frustration. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are yet to receive confirmation from police as to their ability to adequately resource the operation required to facilitate our travelling support in Lyon.

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“Although we have raised concerns regarding supporters who have already made travel arrangements for this fixture, we are yet to receive a clear answer regarding travel advice and ticketing.

“This is particularly frustrating as Lyon allocated our away tickets before issues were raised by the local authorities.

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“We will continue to engage with Lyon, French authorities and UEFA to provide clarity on this issue. Having received feedback from our support, we share your frustration and endeavour to seek a resolution at the earliest possible time.”

On the club’s last trip to the east of France, to the Stade Gerland in 2007, Walter Smith led the team to a famous 3-0 victory in the Champions League which developed into a run to final of the Europa League’s pre-cursor competition, the UEFA Cup.

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The ticketing stalemate is not all the uncertainty Rangers fans may face either.

Since the impasse began, international travel has also reacted to the discovery of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and Rangers fans who do travel could face further disruption, although First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s request for additional travel restrictions was rejected by Prime Minister Boris Johnson this afternoon.

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