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Friday February 23, 2024

Villa make official complaint to UEFA after Legia violence

By AFP
December 03, 2023

LONDON: Aston Villa have made an official complaint to UEFA over the violent behaviour of Legia Warsaw fans prior to Thursday´s Europa Conference League clash.

Villa´s 2-1 victory was marred by ugly scenes that left four police officers injured after clashes with Legia hooligans.

Flares and missiles were thrown at police as Legia supporters were held in a coach park near Villa Park, with 46 arrests made in a bid to restore order.

One police officer was hit by a flare thrown by the hooligans and was engulfed by flames. —Shutterstock
One police officer was hit by a flare thrown by the hooligans and was engulfed by flames. —Shutterstock

Although the game started on time and no Legia fans were allowed in, a breakaway group managed to get near the stadium to throw bottles towards Villa fans inside the stands from the street outside.

Villa had reduced Legia´s ticket allocation over fears of crowd trouble and they accused the Polish club of a “complete lack of cooperation” with themselves, the police and UEFA.

“Aston Villa can confirm it has lodged an official complaint with UEFA over the conduct of Legia Warsaw Football Club and the behaviour of their supporters prior to last night´s UEFA Europa Conference League match at Villa Park,” the Premier League club said in a statement on Friday.

“Four police officers were injured and 46 Legia supporters arrested after unprecedented violence by the Polish fans outside the stadium.

“This shocking behaviour followed Legia club officials´ complete lack of cooperation with West Midlands Police, Aston Villa and UEFA throughout the day.

“Legia Warsaw refused to confirm if they would accept their allocation of tickets for the match at that point. This is in stark contrast to normal UEFA operational procedures.”