PORTO – Thousands of Inter fans have already landed in Porto to attend the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie but, despite having bought a regular ticket, a good portion of them could be kept out of the Estadio do Dragao for “security reasons”.
The away allocation – about 3,000 seats available – were quickly sold out through the Inter club network, leaving many Nerazzurri fans scrambling to find an alternative way to follow their team in the second-leg of the Champions League round of 16.
The widespread solution proposed by several Inter clubs abroad consisted of buying tickets for the home sections of the stadium, something that Porto’s website allowed to do either from any foreign country except Italy or simply by using a VPN to turn an Italian IP address into a foreign one and complete the purchase.
By doing this, at least 1,000 Inter fans managed to buy their tickets in one of the sections normally occupied by home Porto fans, but after their arrival in the Portuguese city they discovered they could be denied entry to the stadium in an attempt to avoid clashes between the two opposing fans.
In an official statement issued on the morning of the matchday, Porto explained that “tickets for all sections of the Estadio do Dragao, except for the ones of the away section sold by the visiting club, are intended exclusively for Porto fans; as such, due to security reasons, the visiting fans who haven’t bought their tickets directly from Inter won’t be allowed access to the venue”.
The decision sparked outrage among the Inter fans already in Portugal and a meeting between the two clubs’ representatives and the local authorities is expected in the afternoon to attempt to resolve the situation.