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Frankfurt fans allowed in Darmstadt after controversial city ban is overturned

They won't be allowed in the stadium, but Eintracht Frankfurt fans will be allowed to travel to Darmstadt to watch their team after a controversial temporary city ban was overturned by a German court on Thursday.

Frankfurt fans will not be stopped from entering Darmstadt city center on Saturday after a German court overturned a controversial ban.

The city of Darmstadt had sought to ban away fans from the area after trouble marred the "Hessen derby" between Eintracht Frankfurt and Darmstadt earlier this season. Frankfurt fans threw a firecracker, invaded the pitch at fulltime and were pictured burning the flag of their rival on the terraces.

Following the crowd trouble, the German Football Federation (DFB) ruled that no Eintracht fans would be permitted to be in the stadium for Saturday’s game in Darmstadt. The club, who had been warned about the behavior of their fans earlier in the season, were also fined €75,000.

However, the city of Darmstadt wanted to go further, banning away fans from their city from 19:00 CET on Friday night until 7:00 CET on Sunday, a 36 hour period, on the grounds of public health and safety. The city’s Administrative Court (Verwaltungsgericht) ruled that any ban would not be lawful after several Frankfurt fans made submissions to the court. Darmstadt still have the option to appeal to the Hessen administrative court in Kassel.

Bundesliga Eintracht Frankfurt gegen SV Darmstadt 98 Feuer

The previous meeting of the sides was marred by crowd trouble

Eintracht Frankfurt vice president and lawyer Stefan Minden said a city ban would have made the assumption that every one of the club’s fans was a potential security risk, an idea he called “legally untenable.”

Despite the trouble at the last clash between the sides, Darmstadt captain Sulu Aytac said it will be a shame not to have away fans in the stadium on Saturday. "I think it would be better with opposing fans who boo you," he said. "Sometimes those abusive chants can be motivating."

Darmstadt would seal a second season in the Bundesliga with a win against rivals Frankfurt, who currently sit in the second automatic relegation slot with just three games remaaining in the Bundesliga season.

mp/dv (SID, dpa)

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