UK

Four police officers injured in ‘disgusting scenes’ at Aston Villa match

Police attempt to put out flares that have been thrown towards them outside the stadium before the UEFA Europa Conference League Group E match at Villa Park, Birmingham (David Davies/PA)
Police attempt to put out flares that have been thrown towards them outside the stadium before the UEFA Europa Conference League Group E match at Villa Park, Birmingham (David Davies/PA) Police attempt to put out flares that have been thrown towards them outside the stadium before the UEFA Europa Conference League Group E match at Villa Park, Birmingham (David Davies/PA)

Four police officers were injured and 39 people arrested amid “disgusting and highly dangerous scenes” before Aston Villa’s game with Legia Warsaw.

West Midlands Police said fans of the Polish side were not allowed into the stadium after missiles were thrown at officers before the start of the Europa Conference League game on Thursday evening.

West Midlands mayor Andy Street has called for European football chiefs to take “strong action” as he thanked the “brave officers” and criticised the “deeply unpleasant scenes” outside Villa Park in Birmingham.

Objects were thrown at police during the disorder and visiting fans were held in a coach park before Villa went on to win the match 2-1.

Writing on X, formerly Twitter, Mr Street said: “Deeply unpleasant scenes outside Villa Park tonight, which were dealt with absolutely appropriately by West Midlands Police.

“A huge thank you to the brave officers who put themselves in harms way to keep others safe.

“I trust UEFA will now move swiftly to take strong action.”

Aston Villa v Legia Warsaw – UEFA Europa Conference League – Group E – Villa Park
Aston Villa v Legia Warsaw – UEFA Europa Conference League – Group E – Villa Park Empty seats in the away section during the match at Villa Park (David Davies/PA)

Police said in a statement that one of the injured police officers was taken to hospital, while two police horses and two police dogs were also hurt in the “disgusting and highly dangerous scenes”.

Chief Inspector Tim Robinson 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.”

He said the “extreme violence” left police with no other choice but to prevent away fans entering the stadium, adding: “The safety of everyone is our priority, and clearly we had no other option.”