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Chelsea fans condemn Barcelona security over baton use

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

Chelsea fans are being urged to get in touch with the club and supporter representatives after an incident in Barcelona last night.

A number of Chelsea fans were injured by FC Barcelona’s security staff wielding batons following their 3-0 Champions League quarter-final defeat.

Fans who shared their experiences on social media, including pictures of injuries and footage of fans being hit by batons, are now being urged to take their complaints forward.

“Whatever the provocation the stewards and police may feel they were faced with, there can be no excuse for baton charging supporters – many of whom were women, children and elderly,” Chelsea Supporters’ Trust said.

“We have seen evidence of significant injuries sustained by supporters who were simply trying to enter or leave the match. This is unacceptable and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms.”

The Trust is now urging Chelsea supporters caught up in the events to send statements recounting their experiences. Chelsea FC have also urged their travelling fans to get in touch.

Stewarding issues have affected many English fans travelling to Spain in European competition this season – an issue that supporters have been lobbying UEFA on for some time now.

Martin Endemann, from Football Supporters Europe said: “We are saddened by the highly worrying reports from Chelsea fans, following the policing style and hosting conditions at yesterday’s game.

“It´s not the first-time European away fans had these kinds of bad experiences while travelling to Spain. FSE is already working on a project to address the underlying issues with Spanish policing and is liaising on that with UEFA.

“We urge every fan to send reports on their experience in Barcelona to their club, their fans representatives, our partners at the FSF and ourselves.”

This season, FSE has been collating data on what the average away fan experiences in European competition. Chelsea fans who wish to contribute can do so here, and their experiences will help supporters lobby UEFA for higher standards of stewarding and policing across its club competitions.

CST said: “We believe that it is long overdue that UEFA take the issue of stewarding and policing on the continent seriously and take action against any clubs who allow their stewards and the police to indiscriminately attack football supporters.”

Thanks to Mossos. Generalitat de Catalunya for the image used in this article. Reproduced here under Creative Commons license.

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