Celebrities in the stands, nearly 6,000 English football fans in the city: Eintracht Frankfurt are expecting one of the biggest games in club history against West Ham. Axel Hellmann relies on hospitality and even invites Adi Hütter.
Eintracht stings. In the final hours before the Europa League semi-final second leg against West Ham United (Thursday from 9 p.m. in the audio stream on hr-iNFO), Eintracht officials are gradually running out of superlatives. “It’s a unique home game. The decision is made – unlike three years ago at Chelsea – this time on our own property,” Eintracht boss Axel Hellmann enthused on Tuesday.
“Reaching the final would be an absolute milestone for the club and would have a huge impact on development.” A big game with big emotions – and probably also big traffic chaos.
There will be a game of patience on Thursday evening, especially on the roads to the stadium, but also in the opposite direction. Hellmann: “We advise all spectators to use public transport to get to the stadium.” Because there will also be a fan march. West Ham United fans.
Eintracht expect 6,000 West Ham supporters
3,000 tickets have officially gone to Premier League semi-final opponents. However, Eintracht expect another 3,000 English club fans to come. The meeting point will be the Römerberg/Paulskirche area and an Irish pub in the station area. However, England fans’ planned boat tours of the Main have been banned for safety reasons.
According to information from Eintracht, the majority of the 6,000 invited supporters will take part in the supporters’ march. This could then completely cripple traffic. It’s unclear where exactly the fan walk ends. Eintracht expect a hike to the stadium. According to police, fans in London will walk from Römer to Hauptbahnhof and then board special trains. Either way, a lot will happen.
Hellmann: “We expect many fans outside the stadium even without a ticket. The police are prepared for this situation.” The match against West Ham is sold out with a total of 48,000 spectators. On ticketing platforms on the Internet, high prices are currently being asked for a ticket again.
Eintracht does not want scenes in the stands like in the first leg
Access and security controls will be reinforced at the entrances to the stadium. “We will systematically prevent illegal access,” Hellmann said. However, one thing will not happen in the Frankfurt game: away fans will be removed from the normal stand.
Background: Numerous Eintracht supporters were reported to security forces by local supporters during the first leg at London’s old Olympic Stadium and three years ago during Eintracht’s semi-finals at Chelsea FC , then were expelled from the stadium by them. “Just because someone has another club’s crest on their scarf doesn’t mean they will be kicked out of neutral seating areas,” Hellmann said.
Many former Eintracht coaches come to the game
Eintracht have invited several of their former coaches to the big game, who also played with Eintracht in the European Cup in their time: Friedhelm Funkel, Armin Veh and the Kovac brothers are coming. And Adi Hutter. Hellmann: “I’m very happy that he’s coming. We cleared up a lot in a half-hour phone call. It shows Adi that he’s still very interested in Eintracht.”
The entire UEFA management will also be present on Thursday with President Aleksander Ceferin. However, UEFA bosses not only want to watch Eintracht’s atmospheric semi-final against West Ham, but also want to talk to Hellmann about his criticism of Champions League reform.
If Eintracht reach the final against West Ham, the sporting question could soon become topical. Because the winner of the Europa League qualifies for the next Champions League season. But step by step. First of all, Eintracht are unlikely to be knocked out in their ‘one-off home game’ on Thursday.
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