At the start of the second half of the season, GC is 11 points ahead of 9th place. Worries about relegation are not an issue, the lead seems comfortable enough. Things are different now. Although the Hoppers never finished in the bottom two places all season, they’re stuck in the middle of a relegation swamp with two rounds to go. After winning a point against Basel (1-1) they are in 7th place, but their cushion on the Barrage-Platz is only a measly point.
Should they fall behind Lucerne and Sion in the end, they would have to play the Challenge League runners-up twice.
As if that wasn’t unpleasant enough, there would be another evil if the worst came to the worst. Because the Hoppers could not play in the Letzigrund on the two planned dates (May 26th and 29th). The reason: the stadium is occupied, construction work for the two concerts by the German rock band Rammstein (May 30 and 31) are already in full swing. Brutal guitars instead of a nerve-wracking relegation battle.
Not twice in the opponent’s stadium
The Hoppers are aware of the problem. As media spokesman Gianluca de Cristofaro told “Blue Sport”, the search for possible alternatives is ongoing. Because one thing is out of the question for GC: playing both games in the opponent’s stadium.
GC would not be alone in this fate. You share it with your city rivals. Should the freshly crowned Swiss champions FC Zurich qualify for the European Cup, they would have to play their home games on foreign soil. On the European match days, the Letzigrund is occupied by various other events. According to Uefa rules, however, all home games must be played at the same location. Means: If the FCZ cannot go to its own stadium, it has to play all games at the alternative location. The Kybunpark in St. Gallen or the Swissporarena in Lucerne are possible alternatives.
It is possible that these stadiums are also on the list at GC as a replacement. First and foremost, however, you have a different goal: to prevent the barrage at all costs. (bir)