46 arrests have been made after Legia Warsaw fans injure police, sneak in to the home end, and throw objects at Aston Villa fans.
Reports since the incident on Thursday night claims that Legia Warsaw fans – four of which carrying knives – while also setting an officer on fire and left three others needing medical attention ahead of Europa Conference League clash at Villa Park.
Away fans were told they couldn’t enter the away end as a result of the violence, with some managing to launch objects, some including bottles of mayo, into the home end from outside.
A small group somehow managed to break in and were heard cheering from behind a wall when Legia Warsaw had scored.
— Andy Powell (@MrAndyPowell) November 30, 2023
Not seen a minute of the game since we scored ???????? pic.twitter.com/pddhBvvCqO
— JS (@JS21093) November 30, 2023
UEFA said in a statement issued on Friday: “UEFA strongly condemns the unacceptable violence which occurred around the Aston Villa v Legia Warsaw match.
“UEFA is in the process of gathering all official reports from the game before deciding on potential next steps.”
Legia Warsaw coach Kosta Runjaic refused to say much on the disorder in the post-match press conference.
He said: “I think its a different topic, it’s not my business. I’ve been in a big focus to lead the team. We represented Polish football in a good way, all other things outside the stadium I don’t want to comment.
“We have great fans, they support us home and away. We can always count on them. So far since I’ve been at Legia I’ve had a good experience with our fans. I don’t know the content of it all happening.
“I don’t know the details, which is why it’s better I don’t speak too much about it. Unfortunately our fans weren’t in the stadium and the atmosphere would have been better.
“It’s not about the fans, it’s a pity but we can’t change it.”
The empty away sector at Villa Park as Legia Warsaw fans are banned from entering the ground by the police tonight pic.twitter.com/hFFfvROsQb
— FootballAwaydays (@Awaydays23) November 30, 2023
A group of Legia Warszawa fans have been caught in the Villa end…
Wait for 23 seconds to see a innocent bloke get chips lobbed at his head ???????????? pic.twitter.com/4mC18FsWpk
— george (@StokeyyG2) November 30, 2023
Some of these clips from Villa Park are crazy. Missiles being launched into the ground with the Legia Warsaw fans denied entry outside.
— HLTCO (@HLTCO) November 30, 2023
WEST MIDLANDS POLICE STATEMENT:
We’ve now got 46 people in custody following last night’s violence involving away fans outside Villa Park.
Officers faced 90 minutes of sustained violence, and four were injured.
We were faced with disgusting and highly dangerous scenes as trouble flared ahead of the fixture between Aston Villa and Legia Warsaw.
We had a significant policing presence in place because of safety concerns. This stemmed from visiting fans having been involved in previous match day disorder.
Tonight’s disorder is believed to have sparked when tickets were not distributed by the away club to supporters outside the ground, as had been anticipated.
The away allocation had been reduced to 1,000 tickets on the joint recommendation of the Safety Advisory Group (SAG), working alongside Aston Villa and supported by UEFA.
The SAG is made up of emergency services, local authority departments and transport who assess the health, safety and welfare of those involved with public events to offer advice and guidance to organisers.
During the disorder four officers were injured – with one taken to hospital – along with two police horses and two police dogs as missiles including flares were thrown towards them. Thankfully their injuries are not believed to be serious.
This led to away fans not being allowed into the stadium due to safety concerns, and a significant number of arrests were made.
We kept a police presence in and around the stadium, and this remains in the surrounding city centre to maintain the safety of everyone.
We’ve so far made 39 arrests on suspicion of offences including violent disorder and assaulting a police officer and they have been taken into custody for questioning. We will further review all available footage to identify perpetrators.
Of the suspects, 41 of those were arrested for violent disorder, four for possession of a knife/offensive weapon, and four for assaulting emergency workers.
All of those arrested are away fans, and we’ll be working hard to charge and remand those suspects where we can today. pic.twitter.com/nsuyn7X2Yy
— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) December 1, 2023
FFS not good at all pic.twitter.com/yvfAJbPska
— Justin it for the Cloutinho (@JUSTIN_AVFC_) November 30, 2023
Chief Inspector Tim Robinson, who had been the match commander, said: “This should have been a great evening of football which was enjoyed by fans from both clubs.
“Unfortunately, there were appalling scenes which saw away fans dangerously throw flares and other missiles at our officers.
“We were there to help keep people safe, yet officers own safety was put at risk because of the deplorable actions of others.
“Due to the extreme violence, there was no other choice but to prevent away fans entering the stadium. The safety of everyone is our priority, and clearly we had no other option.
“There can never be a place for such appalling behaviour, and this is something ourselves and the wider community should never have to experience.”
ASTON VILLA STATEMENT:
Aston Villa Football Club can confirm that no away fans were allowed into Villa Park for this evening’s UEFA Europa Conference League fixture with Legia Warsaw on the advice of West Midlands Police following large-scale disorder outside the stadium caused by visiting supporters.
The UK safety authorities, UEFA and Aston Villa, communicated on November 2 that the ticket allocation for away fans for this fixture would be reduced to 1,002 on the advice of safety authorities as a result of previous large-scale disorder caused by Legia fans last month at AZ Alkmaar.
A number of Dutch police officers were injured during that disorder. As a consequence, UEFA banned Legia supporters from travelling to Mostar for their game against HŠK Zrinjski.
In spite of numerous requests for cooperation from Legia Warsaw concerning their travelling supporters, especially in the last two days, no assistance on the serious safety matter of away fans attending Villa Park was forthcoming from the visiting club. The club has repeatedly, including this morning, raised concerns in conjunction with UEFA and all the relevant authorities to Legia that ticketless away supporters were attempting to attend Villa Park.
Approximately an hour before kick-off, Legia fans engaged in planned and systematic violent acts against West Midlands Police officers and a decision was then made by West Midlands Police to exclude all Legia supporters.
Aston Villa strongly condemns the behaviour of those visiting supporters and would like to thank West Midlands Police for their professionalism in very difficult circumstances.
A police officer was hospitalised with burn injuries from being hit by a flare before #AVFC‘s match vs Legia, while another three officers, two horses and two dogs were also injured.
Well done to the very brave @WMPolice unit who kept the public and Villa fans safe last night ????
— John Townley (@johntownley11) December 1, 2023
This is how Twitter users reacted with 46 arrests made, Legia Warsaw fans taking to injure police, sneak their way in to the home end, and throw objects at Aston Villa fans…
@noBSvilla: Hope the horses are okay
@tonywoots69: Excellent job under really difficult circumstances. Hope all the injured officers and animals make a quick recovery ????????????
@jeanstshirt: Just as long as you let The Trinity Road Mayo Man off. He was box office.
@chris_j_wallis: Everyone’s so quick to blame/hate the police for anything that we forget to praise and thank them when they are needed. 4 of these arrests were for possession of knives whilst families attend a football match. Incredible unsung heroes ????????
@Boxy_83: Thanks for keeping me and my mum safe. We had a nice chat with some officers by the holte. I offered to buy them a hot drink but the car was keeping them warm ???? speedy recovery to the injured officers. You did a tremendous job last night #avfc
@mccooltherapy: Lads it’s literally kicking a bag of air around a patch of grass. No need for this level of violence. I assume @UEFA will take action. Well done @wmpol
@dontforgetchaos: Well done to all involved. That looked intense to say the least. Thoughts with the injured officers.
@r_ecrowley: Great job guys in what can only be described as disturbing circumstances!!! You shouldn’t have to put up with this sh*te ????♂️
@MarkFel27315890: Legia Warsaw so called fans, dragged football back to the dark ages last night. Appalling scenes around villa park. Huge respect to the police on how they handled the situation, Imagine that as your days work ?? I hope those fans are never allowed into a stadium again.
@sam5hunt: Who brings a knife to a football match? Legia Warsaw fans are a disgrace to their club, country and the sport. Fair play to West Midlands Police and the officers drafted in from other forces, and exceptional effort putting themselves in harms way to protect us #AVFC fans. ????????
@The_Tache_: Feel for the wmp officers last night. Dealing with that crap. Tbf, the Legia fans wouldn’t try any of that shit at home. Polish police would fuck them right up. Meanwhile our guys have to use sticks and shields. Hope the officers get back to their families soon.
@neilcarf: I was at the game last night. Police did a great job outside as did the stewards inside the ground whenever a Legia fan was found amongst the home fans.
Seen some ask why police didn’t just let Legia fans with tickets in last night. Point is, Legia ultras controlled everything on their side. Motto was “all 2,000 in, or none in.” Visiting fans with no interest in violence were never getting their ticket anyway. #avfc
— matt maher (@mjmarr_star) December 1, 2023