Rangers fans told not to travel to Lyon due to 'festival of light' taking place in city 5 months ago

Rangers fans told not to travel to Lyon due to 'festival of light' taking place in city

Rangers confirmed in a statement on Monday that away fans would not be permitted entry at the Groupama Stadium on Thursday

Rangers fans have been told they will not be permitted entry to their final away Europa League group stage fixture against French side Lyon on Thursday.

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The Scottish Champions were due to take 2,200 supporters to France for their final group game in which they will qualify for the next round should they avoid defeat to the Group A leaders.

In a statement on the club's official website, Rangers confirmed they have been informed by the French interior minister that away supporters would not be allowed entry due to a 'festival of light planned in the city which will test the policing resource and city infrastructure.'

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It said: "We regret to inform our travelling support that, within the last hour, we have been notified by the French Minister of the Interior, that away fans including corporate guests will not be admitted on Thursday night to the Groupama Stadium in Lyon, France.

"We understand that there is a 'festival of light' planned in the city which will test the policing resource and city infrastructure. As you are aware, we previously underlined to our support that the local authorities in France were being intransigent and initially unwilling to engage.

"However, only late last week they agreed that we could have 2,200 supporters admitted. The decision to reverse this is bemusing, and extremely frustrating, given the short notice. It beggars belief that 3 days after that decision was taken and 3 days before the match is due to be played, it is our supporters who are now going to be left out of pocket by this decision by the French interior minister.

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"We empathise with the feeling of supporters, who have made travel plans months in advance. Furthermore, we were allocated tickets several weeks ago, which adds further confusion to the most recent decision to not admit our fans.

"Rest assured, we have made representations to UEFA, OL and the French authorities. However, regrettably, this situation is now out our control.

"Nevertheless, we are duty bound to ask all supporters including corporate guests to not travel to France.

"We appreciate the frustration of our support, and will work to ensure a refund for tickets is processed forthwith."

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Giovanni van Bronckhorst has made a strong start to life as the new Rangers boss since replacing Steven Gerrard, winning all four of his games in charge.

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