The last encounter between the clubs on 30 November 2006 was interrupted due to crowd trouble, which resulted in Feyenoord’s one-year banishment from European competitions. That makes the game later this month something of a potential flashpoint, with strong emotions possible on both sides, as the events of two years ago are still fresh in the memory of Dutch and French supporters alike.
Says Feyenoord’s financial director Onno Jacobs: ‘We do not expect the people that caused problems in 2006 to travel to France again this time. But logically everyone in France is on edge. Any little thing could lead to overstrained reactions in no time, with possible serious consequences. We cannot and must not take that risk.’
The club realises that loyal supporters, some of whom roared Feyenoord to victory last week in Kalmar FF, will be very disappointed to hear they are not able to visit the first match in the UEFA Cup group stage. ‘We do assume that everyone understands why we arrived at this decision.’
‘Feyenoord’s future is more important that this one game,’ continues Jacobs. ‘We also expressly ask people not to travel off their own bat. Also because we have now heard that Dutch people that do go to Nancy will in any event not be allowed in the stadium. Not even if they have managed to get a ticket by some other means.’