Rangers furious over 'potentially life-threatening' scenes at Europa League final
Rangers are deeply unhappy with the organisation of Wednesday’s Europa League final at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan in Seville, Telegraph Sport understands.
The Scottish champions failed in their bid to win a first European trophy in 50 years but their concerns are focused on organisational failures around and within the stadium, which left some supporters in potentially life-threatening situations and saw others refused entry – although they had proof of e-tickets on their phones – because police confiscated battery packs.
The cause of the difficulties appears to lie in a failure to grasp the impact or scale of the exodus of fans from both Rangers and Eintracht Frankfurt, with the Ibrox club having advised, several weeks before the event, that 80,000-100,000 Rangers fans could be expected, with 80,000 likely not to have tickets.
As was quickly apparent from social media posts on Wednesday night, most of the vending stalls from which water could usually be purchased were closed, despite boiling heat and temperatures of up to 33 degrees. One supporter, a doctor, described seeing spectators lying on the ground suffering from dehydration.
Other reports recorded many instances – thought to be around 400 or more – of confiscations of phone battery packs, although the phones were needed to verify the authenticity of e-tickets. Skin creams as well as insulin and other medicines were also confiscated by local police, who had imposed a cordon around the outside of the ground.
Inside the venue, when supplies of bottled water ran out, desperately thirsty fans were given plastic cups and were advised to get water from the toilets, which went dry soon afterwards. Sevilla are believed to have advised Uefa that demand was four or five times as high as at club matches played at the ground.
The Telegraph understands that Rangers have had further contact with the Spanish FA about the system failures and that their fans have been in touch with Football Supporters Europe, which monitors European finals on an independent basis and which advises Uefa on its findings.
Rangers are thought to be particularly keen to emphasise that, despite prior concerns, their supporters did not cause trouble in the city or at the ground and were subsequently praised by municipal officials, in contrast to the instances of organisational failure at the event.