Those responsible for the bundesliga soccer club regret above all the disadvantages for their innocently excluded supporters, but also the dreary atmosphere in the eighth-final second leg of the europe league on 14. March in the italian capital. "We find this very annoying and it is an incredible pity, or rather a drama for our fans," was the verdict of vfb sporting director fredi bobic. "But unfortunately our hands are tied there." coach bruno labbadia complained: "this is quite brutal for our fans."
Vfb fans cannot expect financial compensation from uefa after spectator exclusion in match at lazio roma. "No compensation is provided for such cases," the european soccer union told the dpa news agency on request and referred to the clubs concerned.
The previous evening, uefa had sentenced the italian top club to two ghost matches in the european cup and a fine of 40,000 euros for repeated misconduct by its fans. Supporters of the third-placed team in the table were often conspicuous for their racist and right-wing extremist reactions. Most recently, borussia fans were injured with knife wounds during the inter-round match against monchengladbach.
Vfb and its supporters are now the first to suffer from the uefa sanctions. Hundreds had already booked their own trips to rome immediately after the team reached the eighth finals. They are threatened with being stuck with the costs of flights and hotels. Those who have booked through the club can cancel "of course free of charge", the vfb announced on its homepage.
It is still unclear whether ordered tickets can be canceled. Lazio have until saturday to appeal the ruling. No appeals have been received so far, uefa said. Bobic also expects the governing body not to revise its verdict: "you have to look at it realistically and assume now that the game will take place in front of empty seats."
The manager and the coach were annoyed after the 2-0 victory in the cup quarterfinals against the vfl bochum tremendously about the ghostly atmosphere in rome and see no advantage for vfb in it. "It’s not pleasant to play in such an atmosphere," said labbadia. "I am incredibly sorry for our fans. This destroys competition to a certain extent."Bobic regretted: "it’s a great pity to play in an empty olympic stadium. We would have liked to have our fans with us."But vfb will be forced to travel to rome with "only a small delegation".
The pros also lamented the exclusion of their always vocal fans. "A ghost game is unfortunate and not what we want as players," said midfielder christian gentner. Goalkeeper sven ulreich said: "a ghost game is bitter, but we can not change it."
Lazio president claudio lotito had announced on italian television an objection to the punishment: "we cannot be punished as a club for the mistakes of a few."He called the verdict disproportionate. In the 2-0 win against gladbach, several hundred supporters had shown the fascist salute. Uefa had already warned the club several times for the behavior of its fans.