Police: “Disgusting scenes”
Legia hooligans in England admire cells, not their team
December 1, 2023, 4:05 p.m
Fans of the Polish football club Legia Warsaw are once again causing riots. The English police are taking action. The riots lead to numerous arrests and a short-term exclusion of spectators. The club from Poland’s capital places some of the blame on the hosts.
After serious riots by Polish football fans before the Conference League game between Aston Villa and Legia Warsaw, the English police arrested 46 people. Four officers, as well as two dogs and two horses each, were injured when they were attacked with pyrotechnics and projectiles during the “hideous and extremely dangerous scenes,” the authority said on Friday night. A police officer therefore had to be treated in hospital. Citing medical services, the Birmingham Mail reported on Friday that a total of 14 people required medical treatment. Aston Villa won the game 2-1 on Thursday evening.
Because of the riots, no Legia fans were allowed into the stadium in Birmingham, central England. Chief Inspector Tim Robinson said the extraordinary violence left police no choice but to deny Polish supporters access. In any case, they were provided with 1,000 fewer tickets than usual.
Incidents as early as October
Aston Villa cited safety concerns due to riots by Legia fans at the game at AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands at the beginning of October. The European Football Union (UEFA) had fined the Polish record champions 15,000 euros and banned spectators from Zrinjski Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Legia supporters stormed the entrance gate in Alkmaar and used massive violence against stewards and the riot police.
The Premier League club accused the Polish club representatives of not cooperating on security issues. Legia, in turn, complained that Aston Villa had unnecessarily exacerbated the atmosphere through restrictive measures. Legia coach Kosta Runjaic did not want to comment on the riots. “We represented Polish football well, I won’t comment on anything else outside the stadium,” he said after the game. “We have great fans who support us at home and away. We can always rely on them.”