Ahead of Legia Warsaw’s anticipated clash with Molde in the UEFA Europa Conference League round of 16, fans face significant hurdles as Norwegian authorities impose strict restrictions, compounding the club’s ongoing fan behaviour issues.
The journey for Legia Warsaw supporters to Molde for the European fixture is marred by adversity. Norwegian police have enforced a ban on Polish nationals reserving accommodations in the city, citing concerns over potential disturbances. This move comes in the wake of escalating tensions between Legia’s fanbase and authorities during previous European encounters.
The recent clash in Birmingham during the group stage encounter against Aston Villa saw violent skirmishes erupt between hooligans and law enforcement, resulting in several arrests and UEFA penalties amounting to €100,000 for Legia Warsaw. Consequently, Legia fans were barred from attending five successive European matches.
Now, with the fixture against Molde looming, the Norwegian club has implemented stringent measures to prevent any recurrence of disorderly conduct. This includes prohibitions on Legia supporters purchasing tickets and entering the stadium. Furthermore, ticket sales are restricted, with each person allowed a maximum of four tickets, each registered to a specific individual, and ID checks enforced upon entry.
The limitations extend to merchandise, with Legia paraphernalia banned from the stadium premises. Any attempt to resell tickets or share ticket links is strictly prohibited under the risk of exclusion from future matches at the Aker Stadion.
Łukasz Olkowicz, reporting for “Przegląd Sportowy,” highlighted the discriminatory nature of the restrictions, lamenting the hypothetical scenario of Norwegian citizens being denied accommodation in Warsaw—a sentiment echoed by many fans.
Dostałem wiadomość od kibica, który chciał zarezerwować hotel w Molde przy okazji meczu Legii. Okazało się, że policja zabroniła i nie może. W ich opinii ma jeden feler: jest z Polski.— Łukasz Olkowicz (@LukaszOlkowicz) February 5, 2024
Teraz wyobraźmy sobie, że w rewanżu hotele w Warszawie odmawiają noclegu obywatelom Norwegii.
With the first leg scheduled for February 15, the backdrop of fan unrest adds an additional layer of intrigue to the encounter, casting a shadow over what should be a celebration of European football.