Rangers supporters will not be permitted entry to the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona next week. This is because Napoli fans were unable to attend the game between the two clubs at Ibrox on September 14 due to police resources being stretched in the wake of Queen Elizabeth’s death and her body lying in state in Scotland, with the reciprocal agreement between all parties continuing to be adhered.
Officials at Rangers had hoped to persuade the Italian club and UEFA to allow their fans to attend, given that some already had travel plans in place before the monarch’s death, but in the interests of sporting integrity, the same conditions will apply to travelling supporters as did for the game in Glasgow. Napoli have already qualified for the knock-out stages of the tournament and lead Liverpool by three points in Group A with two matches remaining. Rangers cannot finish any higher than third spot, which would ensure a Europa League play-off round berth.
The statement from Rangers, who are now strongly advising all fans not to travel to Naples, read: “Ahead of our upcoming UEFA Champions League match against Napoli, we need to take this opportunity to confirm to supporters that our fans have been provided no allocation for this match.
“Following a request from our supporters, Rangers approached Napoli to discuss the possibility of accommodating travelling fans. The club also engaged with UEFA, FSE, and local authorities in Italy. Unfortunately, it has been reconfirmed by Napoli and UEFA that there is no intention to offer travelling supporters any tickets, in the interests of sporting integrity. As such Rangers supporters will not be permitted into the stadium and will not be accommodated within the city.
“It is incredibly disappointing for all our fans who loyally follow the club, at great personal expense, and who will be devastated not to be able to see our team. However, we are concerned about the safety of our supporters following conversations with other British clubs and supporters’ groups who have attended fixtures in Naples and, due to having no reassurances that our fanbase will be accommodated, we must strongly advise that supporters do not travel on safety grounds.”