Watch moment Arsenal fan is ‘attacked’ by Madrid cop after Atletico game – as Gooners complain to Spanish ambassador
PUBLISHED: 14:55 25 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:38 29 May 2018
WARNING: A video in this story contains offensive language.
An Arsenal fan group is calling for the Spanish authorities to identify police “thugs” accused of brutality against Gooners in the recent Atletico Madrid away match.
Madrid’s police force is accused of “inexcusable” violence towards fans after the final whistle of the Europa League semi-final second leg tie on May 3, which Arsenal lost 1-0.
One video from inside the stadium’s concourse, passed to the Gazette, shows an Arsenal fan struck by what appears to be a police baton, apparently unprovoked. Fellow fans react furiously, with the police, dressed head to toe in riot gear, forming a menacing line in front of them.
The Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Association has written to the Spanish ambassador calling for an investigation. Members Steven Powell and Barry Dixey delivered a letter to the embassy in central London on Wednesday.
The letter, from supporters’ association chair Lois Langton, reads: “During the day of the match before travelling to the stadium, visiting supporters – amongst them members of the AISA committee – had enjoyed the sights, food and daily life of the beautiful city of Madrid without incident or problem.
“Sadly, we can’t say the same for the comportment of some police officers after the match, both in the visitors’ section and around the stadium. Without any provocation police officers hit Arsenal fans with their batons, among them women, children and older supporters. The police also wouldn’t permit Arsenal supporters to use the toilets post-match without reason, explication or previous notice.
“The violence of the police officers was inexcusable. Police officers have an obligation to comport themselves using force only when necessary and proportionate to protect themselves and the public. In Madrid that night, the behaviour of some police officers was that of violent uniformed thugs.
“We believe that the events and behaviour of the police after the match should be investigated independently by the appropriate judicial authorities, with a view to identifying and disciplining the officers responsible.”
After the letter was delivered, Barry said: “All too often, supporters are subject to this kind of abuse by foreign police forces and it is taken as ‘the norm’.
“We need to make a stand as this is not acceptable behaviour in any country.”