Legia Warsaw: “Aston Villa’s attitude contributed to the escalation of tension”

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Statement claiming that Aston Villa and the British police are responsible for the episodes that occurred before the game between themfor the 5th matchday of the Conference League, issued by Legia Warsaw.

Among other things, the Poles emphasize that “Aston Villa breached UEFA regulations several times, initially failing to allocate the required 2,100 (5% of their stadium capacity) and then reducing the agreed 1,700 tickets to just 890” and they emphasize that “these decisions contributed to the escalation of tension” before the game was played at “Villa Park”.

The announcement of Legia Warsaw

In compliance with UEFA regulations and international law, Aston Villa, as hosts, together with the local authorities, have a responsibility to ensure safety both in and around the stadium. Prior to our match against Aston Villa, we were adamant that our responsibility only extended to people entering the away area with tickets distributed by us. No club should be held responsible for the actions of strangers without match tickets.

Our people arrived in Birmingham earlier than usual and were in constant communication with the English club, UEFA and the local police. We had repeatedly informed our British counterparts about the necessary measures for the security of the site and the area. However, the British police, in their official responses, only acknowledged the potential risks without implementing our suggestions. Unfortunately, due to the actions and inaction of Aston Villa, unacceptable incidents occurred. Ignoring our constructive comments, the home team bears full responsibility for the situation.

Aston Villa breached UEFA regulations several times: firstly failing to provide the required 2,100 tickets (5% of the stadium’s capacity), then reducing the agreed 1,700 tickets to just 890. Such decisions contributed to the escalation of tension.

We had repeatedly pointed out the impact this would have on our fans from Poland and the UK who, despite the high cost of travel and accommodation, were refused tickets, contrary to the agreement between us on 21 September. The home team and the British authorities were fully aware of these conditions. Respecting the host team’s responsibility for security, we have consistently communicated UK restrictions through our club channels.

Due to the inability to authenticate and effectively distribute the tickets, Legia Warsaw returned the tickets to the home team. We emphasize that none of the people arrested by the police had tickets for the match. We are therefore strongly opposed to Legia Warsaw being blamed for Thursday’s incidents in Birmingham.

For years, visiting fans and official missions have been safely accommodated during matches at the Legia Warsaw stadium. Our commitment to ensuring the safety of away team supporters is consistently recognised, as representatives of Aston Villa, Zrinski Mostar and Austria Wien are experiencing this season.

As a club, we are committed to the highest standards in accordance with UEFA regulations. We expect reciprocal behavior from other club representatives. We remain prepared to present further evidence to UEFA regarding the actions of the British Police and Aston Villa.

Source: Sport Fm

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