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Behaviour of Spanish police “inexcusable” say Arsenal fans

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and Supporters Direct merged to become the FSA in 2019 – so this page may contain hyperlinks that do not work and/or have missing files. Our archived pages are not maintained and will not be updated.

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Arsenal fans have written to the Spanish Government urging them to address Police violence following their visit to Atletico Madrid in the Europa League.

In a letter to the Spanish ambassador in London, the Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Association (AISA) say fans visiting the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium last month were subjected to “inexcusable” treatment at the hands of the City’s police force.

“Without any provocation police officers hit Arsenal fans with their batons, amongst them women, children and older supporters,” AISA chair Lois Langton said. “The police also wouldn’t permit Arsenal supporters to use the toilets post-match without reason, explication or previous notice.”

Arsenal fans are the latest set of supporters to have experienced problems watching their team in European club competition in Spain.

Earlier this season, Chelsea fans reported being assaulted by stewards at the Nou Camp in Barcelona while Liverpool supporters reported many problems with stewarding and policing in Sevilla back in November

“The violence of the police officers was inexcusable,” AISA say. “Police officers have an obligation to comport themselves using force only when necessary and proportionate to protect themselves and the public.

“In Madrid that night the behaviour of some police officers was that of violent uniformed thugs.”

AISA is now calling for an indepedent investigation into the behaviour of Madrid’s police and says it will provide video evidence highlighting their mis-treatment of travelling fans.

FSF caseworker Amanda Jacks travelled with Manchester United to Sevilla in February to learn more about the away fans experience in Spain.

Additionally, Football Supporters Europe continues to monitor the experience of away fans in European club competition, lobbying UEFA for higher standards of policing and stewarding across the Champions League and Europa League.

Thanks to Cops Admirer for the image used in this article. Reproduced here under Creative Commons license.

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