Europa League: Wolves fans locked out of Slovan Bratislava clash
Wolves fans have been denied the chance to watch their side’s next Europa League game.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s charges are heading to Slovan Bratislava in Group K on October 24.
However, the gold and black faithful will not be allowed into the stadium in Slovakia because of a Uefa sanction against Slovan for racism being enforced.
Wolves supporters had long been aware of the sanction after Slovan supporters’ racist behaviour – through chants and banners – in the Europa play-off encounter against PAOK in August.
There was hope, though, that Wolves fans could go to the game in Slovakia’s captial city as Slovan made an appeal.
However, the appeal has been heard and rejected by European football’s governing body.
Wolves chairman Jeff Shi said: “Whilst we fully respect UEFA’s obligation to punish unacceptable behaviour by opposition supporters, we are deeply disappointed that this decision will ultimately affect our own fans and their ability to support the team.
“We have understandably explored all avenues to find a way in which to remedy this situation, but unfortunately we have been advised that there is no way around this decision."
Bratislava have been fined for the racist behaviour and handed another fine ‘for the blocking of stairways, throwing of objects, invasion of the field of play and insufficient organisation’ in the game against PAOK.
Those two fines amount to £82,000.
Slovan have also been ordered to display a banner with the wording ‘#EqualGame’, with the Uefa logo on it, against Wolves.
Although they will not be allowed into the ground to watch the match, the Express & Star understands a small number of Wolves supporters will still be going to Bratislava, with the intention of watching it on TV in a local bar.
And despite the Uefa sanction, Tehelne pole will not be empty.
That is because new rules allow accompanied children up to the age of 14 from schools and football academies to attend behind-closed-doors matches free of charge.
Slovan’s last Europa home game – a 4-2 win against Besiktas – was watched by 5,000 children despite a behind-closed-doors sanction.
The game will be broadcast live on BT Sport.